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Start of grouse season ‘shot in arm for East Lancs wildlife’
THE new grouse shooting season will help protect endangered wildlife and conserve thousands of acres of moors, enthusiasts say.
Grouse hunters are gearing up for the official start of the new season ‘The Glorious’ August 12.
And with people from all over the country expected to flock to Lancashire for the four-month season, the economy will also receive a much-needed boost.
The Moorland Association said without the shooting season’s income, worth around £67million, vital ecosystems and over 1,500 jobs would be lost.
Jeremy Duckworth, of Bleasdale estate in the Forest of Bowland, said: “We are delighted to be bucking national trends with some notable successes.
“We have 75 per cent of the world’s remaining heather moorland here in the UK.
“Endangered lapwing, curlew, golden plover, ring ouzel, merlin, black grouse and grey partridge all fare far better on moorland with gamekeepers.
“We are hopefully looking at a very good season for most, helping to recoup costs.”
Moorland Association members spend £52.5million a year managing grouse moors, resulting in around 700 full-time jobs and a further 800-plus directly linked to the industry across the country.
Mark Reed, lead investigator for the Government-backed Sustainable Uplands Project, praised the support to communities, adding active management of uplands was also essential to retain important heather moorland habitats.
“Without management for grouse and livestock, many moors would revert to scrub and forest.Moorland plants, animals and precious landscapes that attract millions of visitors a year would be lost.”
Shooting days can be held from Monday until December 10 excluding Sundays, but only the surplus population is shot.
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