Licensing of grouse moors to ensure minimum standards and taxation sufficient to compensate for the environmental damage they cause is desirable. But the new kid on the block that may sound the knell for grouse moors is that of carbon sequestration.
Grouse moors, by dint of burning the heather, drainage and preventing the return of woodland, minimise the potential for carbon sequestration.
In 2015, the Paris United Nations global warming conference should agree a price for carbon that is sequestered by vegetation.
Management systems, such as grouse moors and deer stalking estates that fail to optimise carbon sequestration, should be financially penalised.
It may be that international agreement over the imperative of reducing carbon emissions will prove far more effective in ending this problem than decades of neglect by both the Westminster and Scottish governments.