For the first time since the seminal A Question of Balance was published, the GWCT has drawn together its views on a number of upland issues, and taken a look forward. Sustaining Scotland’s Moorland is a living document which we intend to update regularly as new science informs us and best practice evolves.
There is no question that well-conducted management for grouse shooting can be a force for good in the Scottish uplands. Its demise would pose significant challenges for the landscape, biodiversity and many small but locally important rural economies. We recognise, however, that there is always room for improvement.
If we are to find the correct balance for the many issues that face us in managing moorland, we need to develop new processes and reassess long-held beliefs. Some traditional features of grouse moor management are being challenged, which is understandable. We feel that private investors and public policy need evidence from research and demonstration to help guide these developments. Grouse moors should be considered as part of a suite of land uses, such as forestry or livestock farming, in developing a sustainable future for the uplands. Alternative land uses should also be assessed to demonstrate the public benefits they provide and where the trade-offs are in terms of negative impacts.
We look forward to contributing to the ongoing discussion on sustainable moorlands and how grouse moor management can continue to contribute to a productive landscape, which is rich in both game and wildlife.
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