Highlighting benefits of grouse

A new year-long campaign highlighting the benefits of grouse moors to Scotland and the Scottish economy has been launched.

The Gift of Grouse initiative was launched in Glen Clova on ‘the Glorious Twelfth’ to coincide with the start of the shooting season.

Run by the Scottish Moorland Group, the campaign encompasses businesses, families and estate staff who depend on the sector to support their communities and will focus on tourism and leisure, employment, environment and conservation, and accessibility to demonstrate the difference shooting makes to rural communities and Scotland.

It plays a major part in the £200 million generated for the economy by shooting and stalking every year, with 970,000 bed nights bought by tourists. This spend includes the transport, hospitality and entertainment sectors as well as the 2,640 full time jobs and £30.1million in wages directly supported by the grouse sector.

The moorland groups says the income also helps to underpin conservation measures to maintain the moors as habitats in which all forms of flora and fauna, including a unique assemblage of birds such as lapwing, curlew and golden plover, can flourish.

Tim Baynes, group director, said: “Rural areas that have managed moorland on their doorstep understand the positives that the sector provides, and appreciate the income that flows through the economy as a result of grouse shooting.

“However, we have often not been vocal enough in letting people know how vital the sector is. All too often, there is a deliberate misconception that moorland owners are the only ones to benefit from the tourism that grouse shooting provides. That is simply not true, as we can see through the magnificent conservation work that goes on across our hills and glens every day.”

Lesley McArthur, partner at the Glen Clova Hotel, also said that shooting-related business is important as it extends the season right through the autumn and into winter.

She added: “The Glorious Twelfth is the start of the shooting season and the Angus Glens specialise in high value grouse shooting, with the benefits flowing down through local businesses such as this hotel and the community more generally. We’re appreciative of the positive effect grouse have on our business and the people we employ.”