PE01663: Driven grouse shooting study

Environment Energy

Petitioner: Leslie Wallace


Date Lodged: 18 July 2017

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to sponsor a comprehensive and independent study into the full economic impacts of driven grouse shooting.

Petition History:


21 September 2017: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage. Link to the Official Report 21 September 2017

22 March 2018: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the Scottish Government has commissioned research which addresses the action called for in the petition. Link to the Official Report 22 March 2018

Written submissions:

As the edit for this petition was being finished, news came in that the European Commission is considering taking the UK government to the Court of Justice for the EU regarding its failure under the habitats directive to protect blanket bog. We have 10 - 15 percent of the world total - due to the level of burning carried out, which to a very large degree is for the purpose of enhancing driven grouse shooting. The case for economic support in regards to conservation value of grouse moors is increasingly weak.

The growth of ecotourism, which in spite of the obstacles it faces in Scotland is becoming an increasingly important industry here and one in which we could be a world leader, and especially that involving birds of prey (ospreys at Loch Garten, the red kite trail in Dumfries, sea eagles on Mull and Skye etc.) has received little attention or promotion from bodies, such as Scottish Land and Estates, which have extensive grouse shooting interests where there is a perceived conflict with having natural raptor populations. 

Chris Townsend's article "The Devastation of the Eastern Highlands" on his online blog provides an excellent insight into why driven grouse shooting is not conducive to other forms of recreation in which far more people could be involved. There's a growing body of evidence that natural flood alleviation - and there is a lengthening list of promising projects which are supporting the findings of previous ones - strategic tree planting, especially along water courses, the creation of natural dams through the insertion of large woody debris, and even reintroduction of beavers in suitable areas (the forestry commission is proposing a trial beaver reintroduction in the Forest of Dean to reduce flooding of homes and businesses!). Our uplands are not especially mountainous and large scale eco restoration with beavers should be feasible in large sections of our watersheds where current economic productivity is very low and flood prevention should be considerably more valuable. It is better that grouse bags are compromised rather than keeping peoples' homes dry.

There is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to have an ecologically, economically and culturally diverse rural community. Driven grouse shooting has died out entirely in Wales and is almost extinct in Northern Ireland, but its management has intensified in Scotland further reducing wildlife value, the environmental problems associated with muirburn and marginalising other, quite possibly better economic activities, such as true ecotourism and forestry to produce wood fuel for local people - absence of mains gas means high fuel costs for many in rural areas. The future should not be jeopardised by basing policy and attitudes upon complacency, wishful thinking and the claims of a vested industry, driven grouse shooting is not a cultural asset, but an unhealthy obsession when it suppresses both wildlife and rural economies.

It is essential that claims made by the grouse shooting industry are fully assessed since claims often appear to be exaggerated with little or no empirical evidence.

Bob Morris

23:03 on 18 Jul 2017

My regular visits to the Highlands are made much less enjoyable by the systematic destruction - much of it illegal - of mountain hares, hen harriers, eagles, and anything else that might threaten the size of a grouse bag. I accept that the countryside needs to be economically viable. But with wildlife killed on such a scale, a financial study would help all concerned to understand what is at stake.

Jonathan Theobald

22:59 on 18 Jul 2017

Once again our wildlife are being exterminated for the money, and that's the Grouse also let's live in the 21st century not the 19th and abolish all these foul evil blood sports

Paddy Hanrahan

21:28 on 18 Jul 2017

Save the raptors, and the grouse.

Michael Bible

20:22 on 18 Jul 2017

The value of driven grouse shooting appears to be grossly overstated. No breakdown of the figures has been given, to my knowledge. The number of people directly employed in this sector cannot be significant since it is made up of gamekeepers as permanent full time staff, and then a number of seasonal part-time staff working as beaters. The estates might also employ staff as housekeepers, cooks, cleaners etc for any shooters staying on the property in the estate but again this is seasonal work. Additional maintenance work on the estate is likely to be contract work. It is difficult to see how these relatively small FTE jobs and payment from guests or of shooting rights amounts to the millions of pounds quoted by landowners as income from grouse shooting.

Alexandra Campbell

0:29 on 12 Jul 2017

I live in a beautiful part of Perthshire and my neighbours are the beautiful grouse that come in to the garden every day. All types of shooting are wrong in every way. This should be stopped immediately. The elite seem to think they have the monopoly within our country and can do what they want. There are always consequences to their actions. These so called traditions should stay in the past as they play no part of a modern society.

Karen Walker

10:51 on 11 Jul 2017

Driven grouse shooting is not an economic or cultural asset, but an unhealthy obsession that suppresses our natural heritage, wildlife and also rural economies.

Tom MacDonald

22:25 on 10 Jul 2017

Yeah i agree

Duncan Young

15:09 on 10 Jul 2017

Let's end this cruel industry and turn the spaces into national parks.

Simon Neachell

22:07 on 09 Jul 2017

I strongly believe that all wildlife should be allowed to thrive not be killed at the expense of a single pursuit

Ann Ellis

20:17 on 09 Jul 2017

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