Peak District gamekeepers raise £19,100 to save struggling pre-school and daycare centre
The Deepcar pre-school and daycare centre as been a pillar of the community for residents in this rural area of the Peak District but it has been struggling recently with finances.
As is the case in so many remote and rural areas, the school is very much at the heart of the community, and it also has close ties to the local rural worker community. Many local gamekeepers and farmers have sent their children to Deepcar, and with rural schools and facilities being far more at risk of closure than their urban counterparts – particularly post-pandemic – the thought of this community asset closing is hugely worrying to many locals.
With this in mind, a local game keeper John Tatchell and his partner Laura – who works at the pre-school – came up with the idea of a fundraiser for the school. Four private moorland estates kindly offered a day’s shooting, consisting of four grouse drives on four separate moors.
As was first reported in the Yorkshire Post, the four estates involved are all family run grouse moors who don’t offer commercial shooting. This sum will undoubtedly make a huge difference to the pre-school’s financial situation.
The day itself was run by the Peak District Moorland Group, which is a grassroots organisation run by local keepers and their families to educate and promote the benefits of grouse moor management.
Moorland managed for sustainable grouse-shooting has a hugely important role to play in upland areas, as it leads to a mosaic of income generating activities that sustain upland communities, as highlighted in the University of Northampton’s recent review of sustainable driven grouse shooting.
However, the 2021 season has been one of the worst years for grouse numbers throughout the north of England and Scotland in living memory due to weather events throughout the breeding season which has had the obvious knock-on effects to local businesses and communities.
The Peak District has been fortunate however as the area has fared better than most in terms of grouse numbers, which allowed this day to go ahead.
A spokesperson for the Peak District Moorland Group said: “Deepcar pre-school is at the heart of our local community so of course we will take all steps necessary to save it. This is another good example of the extensive social and community benefits brought to rural areas by grouse moor management.”