I reviewed Tony Juniper’s book on ecosystem services quite a while back, but after a tweet from him yesterday supporting the questions I posed to Countryfile, I went back and checked what Tony had written about grouse moors.
Page 102: ‘We’ll always be able to treat the water, it’s just that it’s very expensive’ [A Yorkshire Water spokesman]. Another option is to look at ways of influencing land management, and specifically measures that will help bogs recover. Some estates are reluctant to join in with blanket bog recovery however as they regard such work as hostile to the aim of increasing grouse numbers‘.
Page 142-3: ‘Around half of the total area has been modified to the extent that little or no peat-forming vegetation remain, including because of burning to encourage grouse. As we have already seen this can present problems for water quality and flood risk. It is also a major source of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere.‘.
Page 148: ‘Some blanket bogs have been damaged by burning, including as we’ve seen to create better grouse habitat.‘.
Page 106: ‘Perhaps we’d make faster progress at less cost if there were more appreciation by policy-makers and regulatory agencies as to the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in, whereby in cleaning up places like Poole Harbour and the water running off places like Dartmoor and grouse estates, British citizens are paying three times. We pay once in tax-funded subsidies to farmers and landowners, we pay again in our water bills and a third time in picking up the bill for for repairing different types of environmental damage including the effects of flooding.’.
Well said by the President of the Wildlife Trusts who might just want to stir themselves to ask their members to sign this e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.
What Nature does for Britain by Tony Juniper is published by Profile Books.