12 August 2014
(Issued by the Scottish Moorland Group)
Scotland is set to enjoy another world class success today as the Glorious 12th heralds the start of the grouse shooting season.
A mild spring and warm summer have helped create ‘hugely encouraging’ conditions for the season which will deliver a major environmental and economic boost to rural Scotland.
Tim Baynes, Director of the Scottish Moorland Group, said: “The Glorious 12th this year falls between two marvellous events which will showcase Scotland at its best – the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup –and we hope to make it a triple success story.
“As the thousands of visitors who come every year to shoot in Scotland will testify – grouse shooting in Scotland is truly world class and we’re pleased to say that this year weather conditions really have been ideal for the preparations for the season.
“As Scotland’s tourism minister recognised recently, Scotland has a global reputation as a prime destination for country sports which occupy an important position within the wider tourism industry.
Apart from the tremendous economic benefit it is also important to underline the very substantial environmental contribution delivered as a result of high quality moorland management.
“Every year many other upland bird species such as waders benefit from moorland management and grouse moors typically have five times as many golden plover and lapwing and about twice as many curlews as other moors operating without that management regime.
“Moorland management also delivers environmentally in terms of carbon capture through peat preservation and maintaining the heather habitat and the purple landscape so valued by visitors to Scotland. All in all it is an industry that plays a big part in Scottish rural life.”
Robert Rattray, partner at CKD Galbraith, Scotland’s leading sporting lets agency, said that demand for grouse shooting remains high from across the world. He said: “Some people do now wait to see how things are looking before they book, but we do also have a committed core of grouse shooters from all over the world who return to Scotland year after year because they regard grouse shooting in Scotland as the very best shooting there is, and want to be sure of securing their grouse shooting by booking early. Bookings for this year have been very solid and the good summer weather is expected to generate further interest as the season progresses.”
A new report – The Benefits and Value of Country Sports Tourism in Scotland – revealed that country sports enthusiasts in Scotland spend £155 million each year. The report, by PACEC (Public and Corporate Economic Consultants) for the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group showed that country sports participants made 270,000 country sports trips within Scotland last year resulting in 910,000 visitor nights.
Sarah Troughton, chairwoman if the SCSTG, said: “The report highlights value of country sports to the Scottish Economy and conservation.”
Grouse is a seasonal delicacy much in demand in restaurants and high quality shops, but with better availability now in good grouse years, it is also starting to be sold more widely in supermarkets.