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Grouse shooting ‘playing a key role’ in the UK’s economic recovery

[You Gov data 09.09.2020]

Data released today by YouGov shows what many expected; economic recovery and social issues have rocketed by 28 points since the beginning of the year to the populations’ number one priority. 55% of the population are now calling on the government to do everything possible to prioritise this.

By contrast issues such as ‘Leaving the EU’ has fallen 23 points to 46% and ‘environmental issues’ had collapsed to just 21%.

This reinforces why fieldsports, particularly grouse shooting, are so important to country’s economic recovery and why they should be championed.

[Moorland farm shop]

Whilst people like the BBC’s celebrity presenter, Chris Packham, regularly try to diminish the £2billion fieldsports indirectly generate for moorland communities each year by comparing that figure to the national GDP, that fails to take into account the relative impact on what are very localised and remote areas.

Grouse shooting is the lifeblood for many of these towns and villages, on which vast amounts of jobs, social groups and mental well-being depend. There is no feasible alternative that brings in anywhere near as many economic and social benefits.

You also hear Packham and his supporters talk fancifully about how moorland communities could replace driven grouse shooting with eco-tourism instead, with guests coming in for wildlife safaris. There are two clear problems with that approach, firstly on moorland not managed for grouse shooting there will be almost no wildlife, as is being demonstrated at Langholm Moor now and as the RSPB have found out at Lake Vrynwy, despite spending millions of taxpayers money.

Secondly, even if the land was managed appropriately for wildlife, eco-tourists don’t generate any income. This was made abundantly clear this summer when the bearded vulture visited the Peak District, only for hundreds of enthusiastic eco-tourists to turn up with homemade sandwiches and flasks of tea on day trips. No money for the local economy there.

It is shown clearly time and time again that grouse shooting brings in an incomparable amount of revenue to local economies at a time when the importance of economic recovery has never been more important.

Fortunately, as the You Gov data shows, the vast majority of the country, and our elected Conservative rural MPs in government, recognise this.


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