We consider grouse bags from England (upper series) and Scotland (lower series) separately.
Until 1992, bags on English moors had been holding up well. From that time, the cycle peaks (1997, 2004) and the cycle troughs (1993, 1999, 2005) have been getting gradually lower, with the 2005 value the lowest average bag in the series. This suggests that moors are making insufficient use of medicated grit, even though our research has demonstrated its effectiveness in increasing bags during a cyclical downturn.
In Scotland, results were grim during the mid-1990s, and although there appears to have been some improvement from 1997, the past three seasons have been disappointing. Away from grouse moors, the situation is much worse.
Hopefully, the new status of red grouse as a Biodiversity Action Plan species will bring about concerted action for recovery.
Index of red grouse bags from 1961 to 2006, for England (upper line) and Scotland (lower line) ; see statistical methods and interpretational considerations. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.