Why our beautifully-kept grouse moors should be celebrated not blasted: Our letter to the Salisbury Journal

IT’S no wonder Annie Riddle (Opinion, The British Way of Life and Death, Sep 18) thought of our beautiful heather clad moors during her tide of patriotism; the importance of these moors, the sort best managed and preserved by grouse shooting, was ratified in 1992 Rio Convention on Biodiversity. With 75% of the world’s remaining heather moorland found here in the UK, grouse moor mangers find themselves at the forefront of efforts to ensure we don’t lose any more of this precious habitat to the alternatives; sheep grazing, forestry or abandonment. These alternatives have repeatedly failed to support the 13 plant communities listed in the EU Habitats Directive, the 18 bird species of international importance nor our remaining mountain hare populations; which we now know are 35 times higher on driven grouse moors. We must thank generations of moorland gamekeepers for maintaining these special places, enjoyed by millions of visitors every year.

Andrew Gilruth

Director of communications at GWCT

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