Our Work

Moorland Management

Moorland Management

Moorland management plays an intrinsic role in the wildlife and biodiversity in Scotland’s uplands and involves activities such as controlled heather burning and wildlife management. The sector both supports thousands of jobs to keep remote communities strong and provides unique habitats for an abundance of wildlife to thrive. There is no other viable use of moorland that would generate the same economic and environmental benefits.


  • The value of the game and country sports industry is worth over £350m annually to the Scottish economy 
  • Over £23m flows directly into local businesses, according to a survey of 45 grouse estates conducted by Scotland’s regional moorland groups in 2017
  • Over 11,000 full time jobs are supported as a direct result of sporting shooting, often in fragile and remote communities where alternative sources of employment are few and far between 
  • Country sports tourism generates £155m annually for the Scottish economy with approximately 970,000 bed-nights per year purchased by tourists, both domestic and international


  • Managed moorlands have wildlife in abundance – moorland offers a rich biodiversity where a wide variety of wildlife and habitat can flourish 
  • Research has shown conclusively that on managed grouse moors the breeding success of some species of moorland birds is significantly improved – primarily due to muirburn and predator control carried out by gamekeepers
  • A Game Conservancy Deutschland study found 103 bird species thriving on Glenogil Estates in the Angus Glens in 2018, among them were red listed species such as curlew, lapwing, black grouse and merlin. 
  • Glenturret Estate in Perthshire recorded no less than 12 different raptor species hunting and nesting on the moorland in 2016, including several breeding pairs of hen harriers, a nesting pair of peregrine fledging four chicks, short eared owls and numerous red kites.

Our moorland work is channelled through the Scottish Moorland Group, a part of SLE with an independent Chairman. 

SMG is also closely involved with Scotland’s Moorland Forum, Working for Waders, the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime, the East Cairngorms Moorland Partnership, Heads Up For Harriers and a range of other stakeholder initiatives to develop best practice.

Our Gift of Grouse campaign aims to tell the story of the grouse shooting and keeping industry, through the people who are involved with it on the ground – from gamekeepers to local businesses such as butchers and hotels. We continue to be driven to wholeheartedly promote the positive benefits of moorland management and conservation. 

Click here to check out our Gift of Grouse website.

Click here to read the latest facts and figures on moorland management to stay up to date and find links to the latest best-practice guidance, along with details on the range of benefits provided by responsible moorland management.

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