Banning driven grouse shooting – we are in the end game

While we wait for the Petitions Committee to be formed anew after the general election, and then have a meeting, and then decide on when to debate this matter, the world must look like a hostile place for the grouse shooting industry.

The recent floods point again to land use in the uplands needing to change, the Climate Committee report calls for an end, this year, to burning for grouse shooting in peatlands and Zac Goldsmith says that burning must end. In Scotland, in its own rather unsatifactory way, the Werritty report called for licensing of grouse shooting. The Glover review into protected areas could not bring itself to say anything good (nor anything terribly bad, I admit) about grouse shooting because it found it such a difficult and contentious issue. Public opinion has never been so hostile to grouse shooting and on a popular television quiz show a question is asked to which the answer is ‘The Hen Harrier is the most persecuted bird in the UK because it’s killed on grouse moors’. Grouse shooting has ceased on Ilkley Moor and Yorkshire Water is moving away from grouse shooting on its land – other landowners cannot be far behind.

I am more certain than ever before that I will see the end of driven grouse shooting and it may not be that far away. Everything is moving firmly against the hobby of shooting Red Grouse even under a Conservative government.

As I wrote in Inglorious;

I am sure about one thing: driven grouse shooting’s days are numbered, and numbered in the thousands rather than in the tens of thousands. So I can promise you a happy ending.

Driven grouse shooting depends, for its profitability, on massively unnatural populations of Red Grouse, and the management regime that delivers those populations depends on illegal control of protected wildlife by some in the industry and unsustainable land-use practices.

…it’s unusual for the few to get their way over the many, and the more publicity that is given to driven grouse shooting the more the ranks of the protesters will swell, and the louder their voices will become in politicians’ ears.

…driven grouse shooting is an unsporting ‘ sport ’ carried out for the pleasure and the profit of the few, at the expense, socially, financially and environmentally, of the many. If it hadn’t been invented in Victorian times we would never invent it now. All we have to do is to imagine the range of better futures that await our economy, our people and our wildlife if we cease driven grouse shooting, and then act to bring them about. And then we will get a happy ending. I promise you a happy ending.

Inglorious: conflict in the uplands Chapter 7 – End Game

Driven grouse shooting is firmly in that end game and we should not slacken in our actions to hasten its end.

Inglorious: conflict in the uplands by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.
Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive

Get email notifications of new blog posts

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

20 Replies to “Banning driven grouse shooting – we are in the end game”

  1. I wish I shared your optimism Mark. The only thing that will bring about it's end is a change of government, and even then it's not certain. Too many vested (Tory) interests

  2. We have to "talk it up" to get the public onboard...but my instinct says that this wont be any easier than getting rid of our coal mining industry was...the countryside mafia is alive and well and only hear the sound of their own voices.

    1. have you forgot about the fire in the peak district last year this was the result of not managing the moor

      1. Have you ever thought that it's because of grouse shooting that we've ended up with fire prone uplands in the first place? Can I suggest you start thinking about targeted tree planting and getting some beavers up there to not only create the best fire breaks you can possibly have (wet ones), but also to reduce flooding downstream?

    2. It is a mafia, I call it a rural rather countryside one, but 'that which we call a rose....'. Whether they're wrecking the countryside for deer stalking, driven grouse shooting or subsidy ranching they look after each other and gang up against their mutual enemy, anybody that wants a land better for wildlife and far more people from both town and country.

  3. Packham and his cronnies want to leave the countryside alone he accused landowners last year of killing harriers and when they appeared back he never apologised for falsley accusing them if its left to his lot the countryside will be over run and no control

    1. Paul a I suggest you read this Murgatroyd et al paper, telling at last the truth about what happens to harriers on grouse moors. Essentially they are systematically and routinely killed. No apology necessary from Chris Packham or for that matter you.

    2. Very well put.
      The countryside looks the way it does due to the fantastic way it is managed by keepers.
      Driven grouse shooting will not be banned at all.
      Avery and his vile ilk can only sit and wish.

      1. WBW - thank you for your first comment here. It's an interesting arrival to call one's host one of a vile ilk. If you want to comment here then behave a little better please.

        1. Oh come now, Mark. Credit where credit's due. At least he/she took the time to find out how to spell ilk, before commenting! 🙂

  4. This so-called sport is a throwback to times past when we knew no better. We live in enlightened times and the practice of killing wildlife for pleasure must end.

  5. I cycled from Ilkley up to Langbar one day in Yorkshire and stopped for a breather and to admire the view. A local chap came over and we got talking. How we got on to the subject of birds I am not sure but he then told me that he was a retired gamekeeper. He admitted that he had destroyed nesting sites, shot and poisoned birds of prey. He said that he had to do this in order to put food on the table for his family otherwise his employer would have got rid of him. He had no regrets as to him his family was more important than the lives of these precious birds of prey.

    During this Corona virus lockdown period more birds of prey than ever have been destroyed. Gamekeepers have taken advantage of less people being out and about on the moorlands. The killing still continues and only the total abandonment of driven grouse shooting can prevent this.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.