Poor weather may delay start of grouse season

The grouse shooting season could be delayed in some parts of Scotland due to poor weather. Picture: Graeme Hart/Perthshire Picture Agency/PA Wire
The grouse shooting season could be delayed in some parts of Scotland due to poor weather. Picture: Graeme Hart/Perthshire Picture Agency/PA Wire
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The grouse shooting season could be delayed in some parts of Scotland due to poor weather.

Perthshire and southern 
areas of the country are expecting good results but parts of the Highlands have suffered late snow and cold, wet weather in June.

This means that, instead of launching today, some shooting programmes at estates may have to be put on hold.

But even when scaled back, the economic contribution to the national and local economies is expected to be significant.

Tim Baynes, director of the Scottish Moorland Group, said: “The grouse industry is a lifeline for many young 
families and local businesses
located in remote rural 
communities who rely on its employment opportunities both directly and indirectly.

“Continued moorland management is not only economically beneficial but is of huge benefit to many other moorland birds, some of which are endangered, including the curlew, which is on the red list for birds of conservation 
concern.”

Recent figures show more than £23 million flows directly
to local businesses in trade generated by estate activity
during the 121-day grouse shooting season, which starts on August 12 each year – “The Glorious 12th”.

The Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group’s Game for Growth strategy aims to increase the value of country sports to the economy by £30m, to £185m, by 2020.

Although prospects for the season this year are mixed, international interest in 
Scotland’s country sports has continued.

Andrew Grainger, of the Scottish Country Sports 
Tourism Group, said: “We 
are witnessing a continued 
level of enthusiasm this 
year from international 
tourists who are intent on sampling Scotland’s country pursuits.

“Scotland continues to attract a large number of 
European sports enthusiasts, with increased interest this year from Scandinavia, 
Germany and France in 
particular, as well as North Americans who are particularly keen given the favourable exchange rates.”

Businesses around Loch Ness and Inverness-shire benefited by £6.2m from the 11 grouse estates in the area which submitted accounts to the research for moorland estates group.

Meanwhile seven estates in Angus were worth about £4.2m to the local economy, while in Speyside six estates contributed £4m.

Ten estates across Grampian boosted the economy by about £3.1 m, with three in Perthshire providing £2m.