Grouse shooting demonstrates lack of public support

The e-petition in support of grouse shooting has now closed – but it actually fizzled our ages ago.

It scrabbled together 15 thousand signatures and had the richer parts of London as its most enthusiastic areas of support. We can regard it as having been supported by a network of land agents and their masters but definitely to have failed to engage the populace.

Attention now moves to Ed Hutchings’s, RSPB-supported, e-petition to license grouse shooting. The ‘license’ petition is hardly racing along. It looks as though one e-mail sent out by a well-connected supporter  of Jane Griggs’s petition was as valuable as all those tweets from the RSPB and a plea to sign up in the RSPB magazine.

In contrast, 48,000 people supported a ban  It’s not difficult to see where the momentum remains


Gavin Gamble: ban driven grouse shooting; closed on 48,000 signatures.

Jane Griggs: don’t ban driven grouse shooting; closed on 15,000 signatures.

Ed Hutchings: license driven grouse shooting; remains open until 15 June, currently 16,000 signatures.


10 Replies to “Grouse shooting demonstrates lack of public support”

    1. Duly signed, I was a Yorkshire Water customer until recently. Frankly I find it very odd that they sponsored the EMBER report yet still have grouse shooting tenants on a number of moors.
      One of their moors has on its edge an old quarry that is a traditional peregrine site which has not reared young for well over twenty years and now has a keepers track complete with layby through it, I wonder why.
      Grouse shooting behaves as if it is dependent on raptor persecution, even if not quite all moors are involved in such crimes, in their own terms they all benefit. Yet those who do not partake in the crimes do nothing to stop such crime and certainly do nothing to report the culprits, to my mind that makes the accessories to such crime. When Hen Harriers, Peregrines and Short-eared Owls start to increase on grouse moors and breed unmolested perhaps we might begin to believe the bleats of innocence.
      Of course historically hobbies, businesses, ways of life what ever you wish to call them that have been dependent on crime have disappeared and as such grouse shooting has no long term future even if it puts is poor management practices behind it.
      It may not be today, tomorrow or next year but sometime soon DGS will be cast into oblivion with bull baiting, cock and dog fighting and I hope I will be there to celebrate that demise.

  1. My apologies for sightly hijacking this with yet another petition. This one is aimed at Yorkshire Water desisting from the leasing of its moors for grouse shooting. There are 13 moors for which YW has control of the shooting rights. This petition is being led by Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors (formerly IIkley Moor). They are organising a peaceful protest in Hebden Bridge on 11 Aug in support of the petition. In 3 days this petition has received 1,700 or so signatures. Perhaps followers of your blog and yourself would like to sign this petition and support it?

  2. It has been said many times before but it bears repeating: no-one seems to know who Jane Griggs actually is. Not a single shooting organisation has ever heard of her, no-one on social media knows her. She has done nothing to promote her petition: not a single tweet, Facebook or Instagram post, not even anything on MySpace (though I did have to check it still exists). She’s had no letters published in the mainstream or specialist press. Nothing beyond the petition itself.

    You can search for “Jane Griggs” and “grouse” – and of all UK web pages, there is:
    ONE result for the petition itself;
    ONE for the forum “Pigeon Watch” (though she’s not posted there herself);
    ONE for the Hayloft Gallery (again, no sign of Jane);
    ONE for the RSPB;
    ONE for the Royal College of Anaesthetists (though that dates from 2010, contains a story about a senior medic talking about grouse, and separately the contact details for Jane Griggs in the RCOA Advisory Appointments Committees; and
    SIX posts from Mark Avery’s blog.

    All of which rather begs the question: does this Jane Griggs actually exist? Or is she simply an invention; her ridiculous and clearly inflammatory petition an attempt to stir up opposition to grouse shooting, in a desperate endeavour to disguise from the collapse in support experienced by recent anti-grouse shooting campaigns?

    1. Weaves – what you say is pretty much true and pretty much irrelevant. It’s a knack.

      I guess Ms Griggs is a pseudonym – you may be better placed to discover who it is than I am. But then whatsisname who started the last failing protect grouse shooting petition was equally low profile. Who was he? Where did he go?

      But whatever! Whatevs! (As I am told the youth of today say). This petition got off to a slow start, then a very impressive sprint and then spent most of the race limping home.

      It didn’t gain much support. It came third in a three-horse race. That’s what the numbers show. That’s what we can all remember.


  3. Whether it is a pseudonym or not doesn’t alter what I wrote. Whoever drafted the petition has not promoted it in any way. It is clearly so extreme that very few people would consider supporting it. No-one I know in shooting had gone anywhere near it, and representative bodies have openly opposed it. So to suggest that the level of support it has means anything is at best misguided.

    1. Weavers – what was the name of the guy who put his name to the previous failed e-petition? And what was his contribution to its promotion. You guys have form.

      But you are right – it doesn’t matter (but you brought it up) – it’s simply a ‘fail’.

  4. I think the geographical location of most of the supporters speaks volumes about the myth of the “country person” invented by the Countryside Alliance. I’ve been pointing out for years that those who are most vocal in promoting the myth of “country people”, actually spend most of their time living in the exclusive parts of London, and other towns and cities. Indeed, whilst the large country estates and their mansions have often been the playgrounds of the wealthy shooters, actually many of them have spent more time living in their town houses, than their country estates. This is before getting onto the wealthy bankers and city types who are also into these so called “country sports”.

    Rigorous opinion polls destroy the notion created by “fieldsports” propaganda and lobbying outfits, that there is this mythical divide between “country people” and “townies” when it comes to support for bloodsports. In reality there’s often just as much opposition to these activities in rural areas as there is in towns.

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