Funding for upland conservation

  • Grouse shooting is a significant motivation for private investment in the management of upland habitats and wildlife species, often at uneconomic levels. One of the benefits of driven grouse shooting was identified as the “significant investment in management and restoration of upland heath”. This investment conserves the habitats and wildlife that are the subjects of statutory targets, such as blanket bog, dry heaths and black grouse.
  • In 2009, we surveyed 92 upland estates that managed for grouse shooting, finding that each spent over £56,500 per annum on routine countryside management. As a further illustration, in 2012 the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project (with a combination of private, public and charitable funding) spent £227,000 on moorland management by five gamekeepers in one year. Without private investment there would be a social and financial requirement on the public, through government and/or charitable funding, to maintain and enhance our upland habitats and wildlife.

A ban on driven grouse shooting would result in a drop in the private investment in conservation by moor owners. Those proposing the ban should be challenged to explain how much additional government or charitable funding would be required to meet our statutory conservation targets.

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