- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) states here that: “The core of mainstream sustainability thinking has become the idea of three dimensions, environmental, social and economic sustainability.”
- Our moorlands are home to specialist flora and fauna and deliver a range of other public goods and services such as drinking water, carbon storage and recreation. They are no longer ‘wilderness’, having been subject to centuries of human influence, either direct or indirect.
- There is a broad acceptance that moorlands are desirable because of these attributes, both for the services they provide and as a cultural landscape. This comes with the knowledge that they represent a balance where some outcomes are better than others; for example, more curlews but fewer trees.
- Grouse shooting is a significant part of the cultural and community life of often remote, rural areas. It is invariably driven by private investment, which generates significant financial activity and employment in some of the most economically challenged parts of the country.
- The key to the future of our moorlands is to ensure that they are managed in such a way as to meet as full a range of demands as possible within this balance, without the ecosystem becoming permanently depleted or damaged. Hence, it is essential that driven grouse moors continue to maintain their grouse populations in balance with their objectives to maintain, and in some cases restore, the biodiversity and other environmental services on their moors.
- Because most other upland land uses do not absolutely depend on maintaining moorland, and because of the recent adoption of measures such as peatland enhancement by grouse moor owners, we believe this maintenance and enhancement is most easily achieved by harnessing grouse shoot management.
Do the critics of grouse moor management accept that there is always a sustainability balance between environmental, social and economic considerations, and that moorlands are worth preserving?