The second piece of Scottish-Government research into the economic and biodiversity impacts of grouse shooting in Scotland has been published today (Nov 4th). It also includes a gamekeeper survey which some of you may have participated in.
This is an important piece of work and will inform the Government's deliberations on Professor Werritty's report into grouse shooting.
It corrects some of the myths which campaigners have peddled about grouse shooting, confirming the disproportionate economic and employment benefits of driven grouse shooting to the remote communities in which it occurs.
It proves the economic and jobs case for driven grouse shooting, examining other alternative moorland uses. We recommend you read it as well as the Gamekeeper survey and Biodiversity impact report which contains some positive messages regarding the trade-offs of grouse moor management.
On the question of intensity of management, the report concludes that there has been some evidence of intensity in some areas and evidence of a decrease in intensity in others.
Commenting on the reports, and the gamekeeper survey, Chairman Alex Hogg said: “The report researchers have substantiated what we have said all along. Driven grouse shooting has disproportionate employment and economic benefits in the areas where it occurs. It helps to keep the heartbeat in fragile communities and lights on in the glen houses.
“Gamekeepers play key roles in their communities and their work, which has no drain on public finances, extends beyond their own ground. They are offering un-subsidised deer management, habitat improvement and predator control which also helps protect farm livestock and forestry. This comes at no cost to the public purse.
“These people offer much to Scotland and it troubles me deeply that so many (64%) are suffering threats and abuse in their jobs. They are under intense scrutiny at all times, they are persistently targeted by campaign groups and they are suffering from a lack of government support and little appreciation of the work they do.
“They are a major part of Scotland’s cultural heritage and deserve government backing instead of constant attack.”
To read the Scottish Govt summary of the reports, by researchers from Scotland's Rural College and the James Hutton Institute, go to: https://www.gov.scot/publications/summary-report-socioeconomic-biodiversity-impacts-driven-grouse-moors-employment-rights-gamekeepers/
For the full, detailed reports, go to: https://sefari.scot/research/phase-2-grouse-research-socioeconomic-and-biodiversity-impacts-of-driven-grouse-moors-and