Scottish Government Commissioned Report on Biodiversity Impacts of Driven Grouse Moors Published

A summary of findings from research into socioeconomic and biodiversity impacts of driven grouse moors and the employment rights of gamekeepers in Scotland has been published.

This research was commissioned by Scottish Government following concerns over large-scale culls of mountain hares, the burning of heath or stubble (muirburn) and the raptor persecution.

The findings recognised the difficulties of assessing the impacts of muirburn on biodiversity with the report noting “it proved challenging to identify clear patterns in the occurrence of…
species relative to intensity of muirburn.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

I am grateful to Scotland’s Rural College and the James Hutton Institute for undertaking this extensive research into the costs and benefits of large shooting estates to Scotland’s economy and biodiversity. The Scottish Government commissioned this research to help build the evidence base to support the development of policy on driven grouse moor management.

I shall give careful consideration to the findings of these reports, alongside other relevant material and expect to provide our response to the recommendations of the report from the Grouse Moor Management Group chaired by Professor Alan Werritty, later in the autumn.