Move to protect grouse chicks on Royal Deeside

AN ESTATE on Royal Deeside is testing a novel solution to prevent birds of prey feeding on young grouse chicks.

The owner of the Glen Tanar Estate, near Aboyne, is attempting to preserve grouse stocks by giving extra food to natural predators such as golden eagles and hen harriers.

Shooting parties have been absent on the Glen Tanar Estate since the late 1990s when the local grouse population dropped below a sustainable level, partly due predation by hen harriers on the estate. But Michael Bruce, the owner, has now begun trials of an innovative approach, aimed at easing the conflict between raptors and red grouse on the estate.

He said: "Estates where shooting forms an important part of the economy have to find innovative ways of reducing conflict between raptors and grouse."