Grouse shoot licensing scheme launching in Scotland on 15th July

Adult grouse watching over brood

NatureScot announced that the grouse shoot licensing scheme will launch on 15th July 2024.

Guidance on how to apply for a grouse shoot licence and other guidance is set out here.

The process is simple and straightforward. The key bits of information needed to complete the application are:

  • A grid reference within the landholding
  • A map showing the landholding boundary and area over which you have the right to kill or take red grouse
  • Code of Practice which you must agree to comply with

Please contact the GWCT Scotland Advisory team here if you need any help with setting the grid reference or mapping.

Other information that applicants will be asked to provide are:

  • full name or organisation name
  • contact details including email address
  • postal address (for correspondence)

The licence holder must be the owner and/or occupier of the land. An occupier is someone who has the right to kill or take red grouse over the land.

The licence holder can be an individual or an organisation (a trust, a business or a partnership).

You can apply on behalf of someone else with their permission.

A draft code of practice for grouse moor management will be provided in advance of the scheme launch. You can see the draft version of the code here.

Following submission of your application:

  • If you are the licence holder, you will receive an email which includes a link to download your licence.
  • If you have applied on behalf of the licence holder:

- you will receive an email confirming the application has been submitted to the licence holder for approval
- the licence holder will receive an email with a link for them to approve the application
- after the licence holder approves the application, both you and the licence holder will receive an email which includes a link to download your licence

After acceptance, compliance with licensing and code requirements will be monitored through declarations and the provision of information returns such as grouse bags. GWCT Scotland has established mobile app recording to make it easier to build up and retain evidence of best practice. Information on these services can be found here.

Thank you for reading this item. The GWCT conducts leading research, challenges misinformation and promotes effective strategies in the countryside. We are a small charity and every donation can make a big impact. It's quick and all cards, Direct Debit, Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal are accepted:


Grouse moor licensing.

at 9:31 on 13/07/2024 by David Bowman

Now they have a system rolled out they have complete control over the future of grouse moors for shooters and falconers. Licences can be selectively granted and withdrawn subject to the strength of the anti hunting lobby. Thin end of the wedge in my opinion.

Nothing to fear for most estates

at 16:46 on 02/07/2024 by C.Dent

I've read the the draft code it doesn't look like it's going to be too onerous to follow to me. Can't see what the fuss is about. Most syndicate shoots would be able to live with it - if they were able to get affordable leases for grouse that is. So surely the big estates and money men can live with it? It's a golden chance to get house in order get rid of the rotten apples and show that things can be run within the law. Don't do it and all will be banned.

Grouse licence

at 15:53 on 02/07/2024 by Ian Garland

How stupid or maybe I have it wrong launch 15th July and the season starts 12th August, but work and commitments to the moor starts months if not years before that

Government overreach

at 12:47 on 02/07/2024 by Ed Hooper

The thin end of the wedge….from a govt. who can’t run the NHS, control the Border or run the economy….BUT will tell you how, when or if you can shoot a grouse!

Grouse licence

at 10:53 on 02/07/2024 by WBW

There are few words to describe this fiasco other than utter nonsense ...

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