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“Glorious” start for Glorious Twelfth

[Thursday 12 August 2010]

Today’s start of the Glorious Twelfth – the opening of the grouse shooting season – should lead to glorious bags, according to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

According to recent pre-season red grouse counts carried out on moorland in Northern England and Scotland by trust scientists, this year’s red grouse season is going to be a “record-beater.”

On the eve of the shoot, the researchers reported yesterday that despite suffering the harshest winter weather conditions for 30 years, red grouse have thrived.

This is particularly good for the conservation of precious heather moorland habitats as well as the economy in remote rural areas. Shooting is a major employer in North Yorkshire, particularly in the more remote areas of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, where jobs are scarce.

Grouse shoots are also important landscape areas – subject of millions of picture post card scenes – because grouse chicks thrive on heather shoots and wild berries. They are truly wild, because they cannot be hand-reared, so conservation work on the moors provides year-round jobs.

Feedback received on this subject:

I agree wholeheartedly,grouse shooting is essential to the maintenance of heather moorland and to the economy of our area. Unlike the battery-farmed chicken, which we in this country buy and eat by the ton, grouse experience wind, rain and sunshine.

I hope indeed that it will be a record-breaking season for all those involved.

Anna Leyburn

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