Ben Macdonald may not be a fan of grouse shooting (11 May) but he should have mentioned that it is the only land use that explicitly maintains and enhances one of the rarest habitats on the planet; heather-dominated moorland, a point ratified in the 1992 Rio Convention on Biodiversity.
These moors support thirteen biological communities in the EU Habitats Directive and eighteen bird species of European or international importance. He also forgot to explain that our moorlands were created thousands of years ago by settlers, who are known to have used fire and grazing to clear woodland. These ancient skills have been adopted by gamekeepers and conservationists alike; because they maintain the beautiful heather-clad hills enjoyed by millions of visitors every year.
GWCT Director of Communications