ResearchPDF Available

What Impacts does Integrated Moorland Management, including Grouse Shooting, have on Moorland Communities? A Comparative Study

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

This mixed methods research study considers the economic and social impacts of upland, moorland management in the UK and compares them to nationally available data.
Content may be subject to copyright.
1
A Comparative Study
What Impacts does Integrated
Moorland Management, including
Grouse Shooting, have on
Moorland Communities?
A research project carried out for
The Uplands Partnership
By Professor Simon Denny and
Trace y Latham-G re en
August 2020
2
Acknowledgements
The authors of this report are very grateful to the 644 people that helped us to
complete this study, either by being interviewed, or by answering our (lengthy)
questionnaire. We are conscious that we imposed on both their time and their
goodwill. To gain so much co-operation at the height of the coronavirus pandemic,
when many respondents were concerned about the future, and some had lost their
jobs, was remarkable.
About the Authors
Simon Denny BA, MA, PhD
Simon Denny served in the British Army from 1976 – 1986. He then moved into
management training and corporate development in industry. In 1992 he moved into
Higher Education and worked at the University of Northampton until 2018, latterly as
Executive Dean for Research, Impact and Innovation. At Northampton he initially
specialised in designing bespoke development programmes for companies; three of
his schemes won National Training Awards. He also designed, won funding for, and
managed numerous large-scale projects aimed at helping people develop the
confidence and skills necessary for employment, or self-employment. In 2006 Simon
was awarded the University’s Cour t Award for services to local enterprise. He became
Professor of Entrepreneurship in 2007. In 2010 he was granted The Queen’s Award for
Enterprise Promotion. Fascinated by the problems involved in measuring the full
impact of policies, initiatives and activities he set up the Institute for Social
Innovation and Impact in 2013.
Since 2018 he has worked as an independent researcher and consultant, continuing
to identify and investigate economic and social impacts. His clients include the
Ministry of Defence, the Royal College of Nursing, the Motivational Preparation
College for Training, and CVQO. He is an external associate of the Institute for Social
Innovation and Impact, as well as the Institute of Logistics Intelligence and Supply
Chain Transformation, research institutes at the University of Northampton.
Tracey Latham-Green BA, MBA, DMS
Trac ey L at ham-G re en has wor ke d i n t he priva te , t hi rd , a nd publi c s ec to rs i n b ot h
central and local government. She also spent two years as a volunteer Police
Constable with Lincolnshire Police, based in a community policing team. Working as
a Freelance Research and Business Consultant since 2004, she runs her own
business consultancy, where her work includes research projects, project
management services (including grant management), feasibility studies, evaluations,
quality accreditation, and business planning and support. From 2013 to 2020 she
was Deputy Chair and Lay Board Member for Governance and Audit on the
Governing Body of the NHS Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group.
Tracey’s research interests are around the wider determinants of health, in particular
relating to identity, communities and social networks and how these can impact on
individuals’ health and well-being. She is currently a PhD student of the Institute for
Social Innovation and Impact at the University of Northampton, where she has
submitted and been examined on her PhD ‘Understanding the Social Impact of
Participation in Driven Game Shooting in the UK’. Formal completion of the PhD is
due in the Autumn of 2020. Prior to the PhD study she had never been involved in
any form of game shooting or rural field sports of any kind.
3
Summary
Upland regions are a nationally significant resource for people in the UK; most have
landscape protection status (e.g. Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), special
conservation designations (e.g. Sites of Special Scientific Interest), and separate local
governance arrangements. These upland regions are mainly sparsely populated rural
areas with Less Favoured Area status. The business impact of the coronavirus pandemic
has been identified as being particularly severe in upland areas.
The research project aimed to identify the economic and social circumstances of
communities in moorland areas where grouse shooting takes place, and compare them
with UK national data sets and other upland areas where grouse shooting is not
practiced. Data was collected between April and June 2020 (during the coronavirus
pandemic) from 644 people, 61 interviewees and 583 survey respondents, making this
one of the larger studies in the field.
The study concluded that integrated moorland management, including grouse shooting,
results in a complex web of economic, social and intangible benefits that can have
direct and indirect financial benefits, shown in the Grouse Moor Management Impact
Systems Map (shown at the end of this Summary).
4
Key findings
Economic impacts
Moorland estates do not solely depend on grouse shooting for their income. They are year-
round operations and have a number of income-generating activities, integrated with each
other and often co-dependent, which combine to produce the classic moorland flora and
fauna. Most of these activities attract subsidies, with the exception of grouse shooting.
Six different types, or ‘orders’ of economic benefit were identified. Only two of these types of
benefit have been clearly described by previous studies. The impact of most of these
benefits is felt not only by communities and individuals in areas where grouse shooting
takes place, but also more widely throughout the UK.
Previous studies have shown that communities in grouse shooting areas receive direct
financial benefits from expenditure during the shooting season. This study confirmed the
importance of expenditure during the shooting season to many businesses and individuals
in moorland communities.
As previous studies have described, the presence of full-time estate staff in communities
has an all-year economic impact. The cash and employment generated by these impacts
have a great importance to remote communities where there is limited alternative
employment. The more remote the area, the greater the economic importance of the estate
owners and sporting tenants.
Agricultural and environmental contractors, builders, carpenters, and other suppliers of
professional services, based throughout the UK, are engaged by estate and moor owners
and receive economic benefits as a result.
Integrated moorland management also results in agriculture benefiting from the financial
facilitation role played by many estates and sporting tenants in securing Stewardship
schemes funding. Without this facilitation role, many moorland farmers would struggle even
more than they do at present to remain viable. The work of the farmers and the estates is
symbiotic and leads to the maintenance and enhancement of heather moorlands, with good
levels of biodiversity and year-round access, which are attractive to tourists and generates
very significant income to the local area.
Estates carry out extensive bracken and tick control on grouse moors, both of which have
positive health impacts resulting in an economic impact through reductions in medical
costs. The economic importance of this impact is likely to increase as more tick-borne
diseases, such as Lyme disease, establish themselves in the UK and tick numbers rise.
Integrated moorland management results in carbon sequestration, encourages peat
formation and reduces the impact of wildfires, the threat and severity of which are
increasing each year. In addition, it can help reduce the impact of flooding on communities,
both locally and regionally.
The impacts of integrated moorland management on the agriculture sector through
financial facilitation; on tourism through the creation of a unique, accessible and attractive
landscape; on human and animal health through tick and bracken control; and on carbon
sequestration and flood control through moorland management and restoration practices
are immense. Moreover, their long-term financial impact is massive, not only for local
communities, but for the wider UK population.
The practice of integrated moorland management, including grouse shooting, involves
significant sums of money (much of it equivalent to export earnings) going into upland
areas. This economic model works and should be facilitated rather than hindered.
5
6
Individuals that manage or lease grouse moor estates see themselves as custodians of the
land. All grouse moor owners and leaseholders surveyed (n=73) believe it is very important
that they leave a positive legacy, and an environment better than the one they inherited.
The majority of grouse moor owners surveyed (47 out of 73) do not require their moor to
make a profit in order for them to continue to fund its operations.
All moor estate owners/leaseholders surveyed (n=73) believe there is an essential and
symbiotic relationship between farming and managing land for shooting.
Communities in areas where integrated moorland management, including grouse shooting,
is practiced have a more diverse economy, and are less reliant on tourism than comparable
upland areas where land management practices do not include grouse shooting.
Individuals who participate in grouse shooting in all roles, not just those firing guns, but also
those acting as beaters, pickers-up, loaders, drivers, caterers etc. often do so for reasons of
intangible cultural heritage (as defined by UNESCO). Individuals participating in grouse
shooting feel a strong link to their individual and local heritage. Strong identity has been
shown to positively impact mental health and well-being. Previous research has calculated
that poor mental health costs the UK £105 billion per annum.
Birdwatching was the most popular hobby for our moorland community respondents, with
47% of them claiming they followed this pastime. We assume this finding reflects the
diversity of bird life found on many grouse moors as a direct result of moorland
management undertaken.
The social impacts of integrated moorland management on the majority of people that live in
communities are positive and result in potentially huge financial savings to the NHS and the
UK taxpayer. Moreover, communities in areas where integrated moorland management is
practiced, both those in National Parks and those outside them, have weathered the
coronavirus storm more robustly than those in moorland and upland communities in areas
where there is a very high reliance on tourism.
The study concludes that grouse shooting is not practiced in isolation from other activities.
Rather, it forms part of a complex web of integrated moorland management practices which
have significant economic and social impacts, both on local, often remote, communities and
on the wider UK society. The types and value of the economic impacts are more extensive and
much higher than previous studies have suggested. The value of the social impacts is huge,
and is likely to result in significant savings in the areas of health and wellbeing, especially
mental health costs.
Implications for Policy Makers
Grouse shooting is part of a complex web of integrated moorland management practices.
However, from the many interviews conducted as part of this research, it is clear that it is the
activities associated with grouse shooting that underpins those positive economic and social
benefits brought to local upland communities, and the wider UK, by integrated moorland
management.
Therefore, it is suggested that any policy that seeks to affect any part of this web should
carefully consider what its impacts would be on a wide range of economic and social factors,
at the start of the policy formation process. Failure to adhere to this approach would risk
causing unintended but irreversible social and economic catastrophe to our upland
communities.
7
Grouse Moor Management Impact Systems Map
8
Contents
Summary 3
1 Introduction 9
1.1 Moorland in the UK 11
1.2 Moorland Communities 12
2 Scope of the research 12
3 The economic situation of moorland communities 15
4 The social situation of moorland communities 19
4.1 Green space management, access and health and well-being 21
4.2 The importance of identity 22
4.3 Employment, training and local economy- a well-being perspective 23
4.4 Social cohesion – maintaining strong, intergenerationally mixed and engaged communities 24
4.5 Social and community networks 24
4.6 Wider social impact: Conflict 25
4.7 The potential value of social impacts 25
5 Research Questions and Methodology 26
5.1 Methodology 26
5.2 Data Collection 26
5.2.1 Secondary Data Collection 26
5.2.2 Primary Data Collection: Qualitative 26
5.2.3 Primary Data Collection: Quantitative 28
5.3 Data Analysis 31
5.3.1 Qualitative Data Analysis 31
5.3.2 Quantitative Data Analysis 31
5.3.3 Triangulation 31
6 Findings 31
6.1 Economic Impacts 31
6.1.1 First Order 33
6.1.2 Second Order 37
6.1.3 Third Order 40
6.1.4 Fourth Order 41
6.1.5 Fifth Order 43
6.1.6 Sixth Order 44
6.1.7 Economic Impacts: Conclusions 46
6.2 Social Impacts 46
6.2.1 Community and Sense of Belonging 46
6.2.2 Community facilities and groups in upland, grouse managed moorland areas 49
6.2.3 Wider determinants of health: Employment, Housing & Intergenerational Communities 52
6.3 Intangible factors 55
6.3.1 Intangible benefits: Intangible Cultural Heritage & Identity. 55
6.3.2 Green Spaces, well-being and exercise 59
6.4 Social and intangible impacts: conclusions 61
6.5 More comparisons 62
7 Conclusions 65
7.1 Summ ar y of Impac ts 65
7.2 Cons ideratio ns fo r pol icyma kers 6 9
8 References 70
List of Figures 76
List of Tables 77
Appendices 78
Footnotes 80
9
1. Introduction
This is not a research project that takes a position on
grouse shooting, or any other type of shooting.
Shooting certain breeds of birds and mammals, at
certain times of the year, is a lawful activity in the UK
that probably involves over 1.5 million people, in some
capacity, a year (Latham-Green, 2020). This is a study
of the economic and social circumstances of people
that live in moorland areas in the north of England.
People inhabiting areas of upland moorland typically
live in (a few) small towns or large villages, and (many
more) very small villages1, hamlets, and isolated
dwellings. These moorland communities typically have
few local amenities and limited economic activity, with
very little manufacturing or light industry. Typically, the
community economy mainly depends on agriculture
and service industries, especially tourism and tourism-
related retail. Many inhabitants commute to work in
towns and cities away from the moors. Some moorland
communities are in danger of becoming dormitory
villages. Moorland communities are some of the parts
of the UK most severely negatively affected by the
impacts of covid-19 (Wallace-Stephens and Lockey,
2020).
The Statistical Digest of the English Uplands2 (DEFRA
2011) points out that the upland areas of England are
mainly sparsely populated rural areas with Less
Favoured Area status. Based on 2010 data, these areas
had higher numbers of people aged 65 years old and
over (24%) and lower numbers of people aged 16 years
old and under (16%). The population of the English
uplands have lower accessibility to services. People
are less likely to travel by public transport for
educational services, health services, employment,
and larger shops; only 61.8% of people were able to
access employment centres by public transport,
compared with 81.3% of the population in urban areas.
Although the numbers of people with qualifications in
upland areas was slightly higher than in other areas,
the level of these qualifications was noticeably lower.
The uplands have lower and slower broadband
speeds, and limited mobile telephone reception. House
prices are significantly above the national average but
the uplands have the highest levels of fuel poverty,
with 40% of households having to spend more than
40% of their income on fuel. Only just over 30% of
households were linked to mains gas. Nearly 30% of
the working population is self-employed, compared
with 10% in urban areas. Businesses in the English
uplands are overwhelmingly micro3 (40%) or small
(30%), and consequently there are more businesses
per 10,000 population in the uplands than in other
areas. The average turnover per employee is lower
than in other areas.
Assessments of the economic and social
circumstances of moorland communities are limited. In
particular, comprehensive assessments of impact
(including wider social and environmental impacts)
are few in number, scope and geographical coverage.
Challenges in upland areas include the declining
availability of support payments and grants for
agriculture, forestry and conservation land
management, the restrictions placed on designated
areas, requirements of planning authorities, a decline
in local shops and markets. As such, employment
opportunities made available through grouse shooting
and moorland management are very welcome more
so than in more economically stable areas of the
country.
The impact of the coronavirus has presented upland
areas with new and difficult challenges. The RSA’s
report4 into local authority areas most at risk of losing
employment due to covid-19 highlights that many of
the most vulnerable areas are located in the north and
south west of England. Cities and other urban areas
tend to be less at risk, particularly local authority areas
located in London or in its surrounding commuter belt.
The business impact of covid-19 has been particularly
severe in upland areas, with Richmondshire District
Council area in the Yorkshire Dales being the most
vulnerable area, with 35% of jobs at risk from covid-19.
This area is 39% more exposed to the negative
employment impact of covid-19 than the rest of the UK.
Other areas most at risk include upland areas such as
parts of the Lake District and Peak District, such as
Eden (34% of jobs at risk), South Lakeland (33%) and
Derbyshire Dales (33%), see Figure 1.1. The impact of
covid-19 on employment has been most marked in the
accommodation and foodservice sector where 80% of
the workforce has been furloughed. These sectors
provide high levels of employment in moorland
communities with high tourist profiles, especially in
the National Parks.
10
Figure 1.1 shows that the contrast between the
moorland communities and parts of the south east is
marked: of the top 20 least vulnerable areas, most are
in London and its surrounding commuter belt in the
south east and east of England. Many of these areas
have a more diverse local economy with a high
concentration of jobs in ‘knowledge economy’
industries that allow workers to easily work from
home. In Oxford and Cambridge 19% and 20% of jobs
are at risk respectively, and these areas are at least
20% less exposed than other parts of the UK.
In some areas of moorland, grouse shooting (and its
associated moorland management) is practiced.
Therefore, it is possible to compare the social and
economic circumstances of moorland communities
that are involved, or associated, with grouse shooting,
and those that are not. Including social factors in the
comparison means the research project is different
from most previous studies that have centred around
ecological and economic factors. This difference is
important as it brings into the scope of the study such
aspects as social and community relations, identify,
cultural heritage, recreation and well-being.
The Uplands Partnership has commissioned this
research project. The remit given to the research team
is to examine moorland communities in England5 in
close proximity to grouse shooting estates and
compare them with communities that are not. The
research project will identify the social and economic
factors affecting both communities and the impacts
that these factors have. By comparing closely matched
samples the project will identify whether grouse
shooting results in economic and social impacts, and
whether these impacts are positive or negative. The
study will not look at ecological or environmental
impacts associated with moorland management for
grouse shooting.
The Uplands Partnership has specified that the
research report should delivered by 1230hrs on
Tuesday 4 August 2020.
The research will be carried out by Professor Simon
Denny and Mrs Tracey Latham-Green. Professor Denny
was the founder, and is now an external associate, of
the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) at
the University of Northampton. Mrs Latham-Green is a
post-graduate student of the Institute.
Figure 1.1
Percent of
jobs at risk
due to
coronavirus
by local
authority
Source -
Wallace-
Stephens
and Lockey
(2020)
11
1.1 Moorland in the UK
Moorland is a type of habitat found in some upland
areas of the UK. It is characterized by low-growing
vegetation on acidic soils. Moorland generally means
uncultivated hill land, but also includes some low-lying
wetlands such as Sedgemoor in south west England.
Generally, moorland refers to highland and high
rainfall zones. Moorland and heathland are the most
extensive areas of semi-natural vegetation in the UK . A
widely used definition for moorland and upland areas
is land categorised as ‘Less Favoured Areas’, an EU
classification for socially and economically
disadvantaged agricultural areas.
An ageing population is a concern in the UK uplands
in general, as many young people tend to leave in
favour of lower-cost housing and higher wages
elsewhere (Commission for Rural Communities 2010,
cited in British Association for Shooting and
Conservation (BASC), 2009).
There are 13 areas in England that meet the criteria to
be classified as moorland:
a. Hexhamshire Moors, Northumberland and
County Durham
b. North York Moors, North Yorkshire
c. Rombalds Moor (including Ilkley Moor), West
York shir e
d. Forest of Bowland, Lancashire
e. West Pennine Moors, including Oswaldtwistle
Moor, Haslingden Moor, Rivington Moor and
Darwen Moor in Lancashire
f. Rossendale Valley, Lancashire
g. Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester
h. Bleaklow, Dark Peak
i. Dartmoor, Devon
j. Exmoor, West Somerset & North Devon
k. Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
l. Penwith, Cornwall
m. Shropshire Hills, small pockets of moorland such
as the Long Mynd
These areas are shown in the map in Figure 1. The map
combines the 13 areas of UK moorland into fewer,
larger, areas.
Figure 1.2 Moorland Areas of England (source: Uplands Farm Survey: England (Department of Environment Food
and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 2012))
12
Upland regions are a nationally significant resource for
people in the UK; most have landscape protection
status (e.g. Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty),
special conservation designations (e.g. Sites of Special
Scientific Interest), and separate local governance
arrangements (National Parks) (Williams 2011). In
addition to game production and shooting, activities
which take place in the uplands are wide-ranging:
from agriculture to forestry; renewable energy to water
catchment management; and quarrying to recreation
(Natural England, 2009). Ownership of moorland areas
of the uplands is not always straightforward: more
than one person may have the right to use the land for
different purposes (such as grazing), leading to
multiple land uses. Shooting estates and water
companies own a great deal of moorland in England
and therefore manage it with conservation in mind
(Gaskell et al., 2010).
In upland areas, community cohesion is particularly
important, as people and services are likely to be
spread out. People living in the uplands tend to be
connected economically, socially and culturally to not
only the land, but also those who manage it. Some
have roles as custodians of the land and its natural
assets.
1.2 Moorland Communities
Although some cities are relatively close to areas of
moorland e.g. Sheffield, there are no English cities
located in the moors. The towns that are found in
moorland areas are small in terms of population and
tend to be sited in valleys along lines of
communication e.g. Okehampton in Devon, or are
clustered around the fringe of the moors e.g. Pickering
in North Yorkshire. People that live on the moors
inhabit small villages e.g. Dufton in Cumbria, hamlets,
or isolated farms and homesteads. Moorland
communities have limited public transport (a ‘poverty
of access’) and travel is mainly by private vehicle.
Local amenities are limited and many moorland
villages do not have their own schools. Churches share
priests with several other parishes6. There are few
shops, and often there is not a public house or post
office. Despite the lack of amenities and limited public
transport, about two million people live in moorland
communities in England7.
2. Scope of the research
There has been much research into the impacts of
grouse shooting on the ecology and environment of
moorland areas. This project investigates the
economic and social circumstances of upland
moorland communities and compares those upland,
moorland communities where grouse shooting takes
place, with relevant UK national datasets and
communities in similar geographic areas that have no
involvement with grouse shooting, using both primary
and secondary data. Cobham Resource Consultants
(1992) produced a schematic way of portraying the
economic impacts of country sports, see Figure 2.1.
The scheme is a useful reference point for this study.
However, the Cobham scheme does not attempt to
identify social impacts and the value that some of
these might have. In addition, the schematic does not
consider all the economic factors that can impact rural
communities e.g. the total number of jobs available in
communities, the number of equivalent jobs in
communities etc. Therefore, this research project will
develop wider-ranging criteria for investigation.
13
Figure 2.1 Simplified structure of relationships between the interests involved and the provision and
pursuit of country sports, illustrating the types of economic activity generated (Cobham Resource
Consultants, 1992).
14
This study has the aim of identifying both economic
and social impacts and, where possible, of quantifying
the value of these impacts. In order to do this, data
gathered by the study will be compared with a number
of standard UK databases and tools used to identify
impacts and financial values. The databases and tools
that the study refers to are detailed in Table 2.1.
Table 2.1 Databases and tools used to identify impacts and values
Database/Tool
Reason for inclusion
Source
Unit Cost Database
The unit cost database brings together more
than 600 cost estimates in a single place,
most of which are national costs derived
from government reports and academic
studies. The costs cover crime, education &
skills, employment & economy, fire, health,
housing and social services. The derivation
of the costs and the calculations
underpinning them have been quality
assured by New Economy in co-operation
with HM Government.
https://
golab.bsg.ox.ac.uk/
knowledge-bank/
resources/unit-cost-
database/
Community Life Survey,
2017-2018
Provides comparative data on levels of
loneliness in a nationwide survey that can
be used to compare national reported levels
of rural loneliness with loneliness reported
by those surveyed in this study that live in
upland areas.
https://
www.ukdataservice.ac.u
k/
Understanding Society:
Waves 1-8, 2009-2017
Provide comparative data on national
mental well-being using a verified,
recognized scale that can be used to
compare national well-being levels in rural
areas with scores for mental well-being of
those surveyed in this study that live in
upland areas.
https://
www.ukdataservice.ac.u
k/
Monitor of Engagement
with the Natural
Environment
Providing comparative data, this national
survey looks at people’s engagement with
the natural environment, in particular, time
spent in the natural environment.
http://
publications.naturalengl
and.org.uk/publication/
4897139222380544
2011 Census: Key Statistics
for national parks in
England and Wales
Providing comparative data, published 19th
February 2013, this spreadsheet brings
together 35 key statistics from the 13
national parks in England and Wales
gathered in the 2011 census.
www.ons.gov.uk
Office for National
Statistics Headline Social
Capital Indicators
Provides data on sense of belonging to a
neighbourhood, one of the indicators with
original, latest data from UK Household
Panel Survey 2017-18
https://www.ons.gov.uk/
peoplepopulationandco
mmunity/wellbeing/
datasets/
socialcapitalheadlineind
icators
15
3. The economic situation of moorland
communities
Rural out-migration of youth and in-migration of
retirees and resultant demographic changes
represent a potential threat to the sustainability of
rural economies in many rural areas across
Scotland (Thomson 2012) and moorland areas in
England. There is often a shortage in affordable
housing to buy, and in some moorland communities
landowners provide significant numbers of housing
units. Pressures on the land resource and the very
wide set of stakeholder interests in land can also
lead to conflict , illustrated for example by regular
contentious debates around windfarm proposals at
local, regional and national levels (Warren et al.,
2005).
However, as noted above, comprehensive
assessments of the economic and social
circumstances of moorland communities are few in
number. Although there are some studies that
consider the impact of grouse shooting on
communities, these do not provide comparisons
with communities unaffected by shooting.
A report by the British Association for Shooting and
Conservation (2009) into the impact of grouse
shooting on the ecosystem reviewed existing
research and suggested that there were positive
economic and social impacts on communities.
However, these impacts were unspecified and
unquantified and no attempt was made to compare
individual communities. It concluded that
landowners and managers of grouse moors
investing time and money into their moorland and
that this investment ‘has many benefits, including
socioeconomic support for upland communities,
decreasing the likelihood of rural depopulation and
helping the UK reach and maintain its conservation
objective’ (BASC date, p.2). However, BASC has the
mission of promoting and protecting sporting
shooting and the well-being of the countryside
throughout the United Kingdom and overseas.
Therefore, its reports are open to allegations of bias
by those vehemently opposed to game shooting.
The Moorland Association (2011) attempted to
estimate the overall economic value of grouse
shooting in England and Wales. It suggested grouse
shooting and its associated moorland management
practices had a total economic value of
approximately £67.7m in England and Wales in 2010.
Of this sum, it was calculated that some £15.2m was
spent on goods and services such as travel and
accommodation, activities which support supply
chains, and presumably have economic impacts on
some moorland communities. However, the bulk of
the economic value (c. £52.5m) was spent on land
management and it was not clear how this
expenditure impacted on people living in moorland
communities.
McCann (2018) points out that in searching for
economically viable alternatives to driven grouse
shooting in the UK uplands, results were limited.
Suggestions include forestry and ecotourism. When
looking into the revenue generated from
alternatives such as snow sports, water sports,
nature tourism and horse riding, it was found that
country sports contributed more to the economy
than all of these other uses (Bryden et al., 2010;
Public and Corporate Economic Consultants
(PACEC), 2015). However, this study did not aim to
identify the impacts of country sports at the
community level.
There have been several recent reports
investigating the overall importance of grouse
shooting in Scotland. The Grouse Moor
Management Review Group in Scotland, chaired by
Professor A. Werritty (2019) identified that the most
recent and detailed summary of past research to
date is the Scottish Government’s report
Socioeconomic and biodiversity impacts of driven
grouse moors in Scotland (Thomson, McMorran and
Glass, 2018). Werritty recorded that, with some
qualifications, the report states that, on the basis of
the existing database, in 2009 the grouse moor
sector supported around 2,640 FTE jobs (both
direct and indirect) with £14.5 million spent on
wages, grouse moor management and support
services. This yields a total Gross Value Added £23
million contribution to the Scottish economy
annually, concentrated in rural areas where there
are considered to be few other economic
opportunities. More recent data collected by the
Scottish Moorland Group suggests that more
intensively managed estates have an average
annual wage bill of £210,000 and support suppliers
(often rurally located) with around £515,000 of
annual expenditure (Grouse Moor Management
Review Group, 2019).
16
In contrast with the overview, big-picture, reports of
Werritty, BASC and the Moorland Association8,
McMorran has conducted two detailed primary
research studies of the benefits and impacts of
grouse shooting on community residents.
McMorran (2009) studied in detail a community
located in an area of Scotland where grouse
shooting is a key local industry, to examine the
impacts of grouse shooting on community residents.
While the study did not compare the case study
community with other communities not involved
with grouse shooting, it demonstrated that there
were often substantial socioeconomic benefits
resulting from grouse shooting at the local
community level. McMorran concluded that grouse
shooting made a very significant contribution to the
local economy, in terms of employment and benefit
for local businesses.
McMorran surveyed 252 households, containing c.
560 people. He had 113 responses to his survey,
equating to 20% of the total population and 37% of
households. As grouse shooting was a major activity
in his case study area, 51% of respondents lived on
estates involved in shooting, while 49% did not. Of
the respondents 10% were employed in the game
industry. However, 18% said their livelihood
depended on the grouse shooting. The analysis of
survey responses enabled him to identify both
individual and community impacts of grouse
shooting, which can be summarised as follows:
40% of respondents said they received positive
impacts as individuals such as employment,
income for business, rural in-migration, and
attractive landscape
18% of respondents said they received negative
impacts as individuals such as impact on some
wildlife, restricted access, noise and smoke at
certain times of the year
81% of respondents said the community received
positive impacts such as employment, income for
businesses and the local economy, rural in-
migration, and environmental improvements
17% of respondents said the community received
negative impacts such as impact on some
wildlife, risks to public safely, disturbance (when
shooting or muirburn was in progress) and an
unquantified negative impact of having absentee
landowners.
Interestingly, none of the negative impacts claimed
for individuals or the community were economic or
social (with the possible exception of some aspects
of having absentee landowners). However, the
positive benefits cited by respondents were heavily
weighted on the economic and social impacts of
grouse shooting. All the businesses surveyed by
McMorran felt that they benefited in some degree
from grouse shooting, with shooting parties being
an important seasonal source of revenue. However,
more important than the shooting parties were the
gamekeepers employed on grouse moors and their
families as they were customers of local businesses
throughout the year. People living and working in
the community spent more money locally than those
working outside the community. Grouse shooting
was also regarded by respondents as a vehicle to
counter the out-migration of young community
members and their replacement by older people
retiring to the area.
McMorran identified that although other activities
such as tenant farming, tourism businesses, forestry,
fishing and deer stalking were present on some of
the estates in his case study area, on almost all of
these estates grouse shooting and grouse moor
management constituted the single most important
estate activity and management objective.
McMorran et al (2015) studied two areas of northern
Scotland where grouse shooting was carried out,
the north-eastern Monadhliath mountains and the
Angus Glens. As in his 2009 study, the survey used
revealed that community respondents perceived
individual and community positive and negative
impacts resulting from grouse shooting. The
employment generated by grouse shooting, and
income for local businesses were highly valued.
Other direct and indirect impacts of the grouse
shooting industry on local businesses were evident
in both his study areas, including use of local
accommodation. Additional examples included
spend by estates, estate staff and/or estate
customers in garages, vehicle dealerships, sporting
goods suppliers, butchers and on local tradesmen.
17
The year-round presence of gamekeepers and their
families was regarded as economically important to
the communities, and had social impacts including
the contribution of children to school rolls. The
continued presence of workers directly employed in
grouse shooting was particularly important in years
when grouse numbers were low, and shooting was
consequently limited. In addition, many respondents
said that that grouse shooting brought about the
long-term provision, improvement and maintenance
of infrastructure. This included housing, roads,
buildings, fences and walls, as well as the
development and maintenance of hill track
networks which can be used by locals and visitors
(McMorran, Bryce and Glass, 2015).
The findings of this 2015 study demonstrate a wide
range of direct and indirect socio-economic
impacts. Both of the study areas were, like many
moorland communities, remote from cities and
large towns. The impacts of grouse shooting are
likely to be disproportionately significant in such
areas. However, in neither the 2009 nor the 2015
study did McMorran and his co-researchers attempt
to compare shooting and non-shooting
communities.
McMorran et al. (2013) studied the economic
activities that landowners in the Cairngorms
National Park (Scotland) carried out on their land.
Table 3.1 s um ma rizes the economic activities
reported, together with details of income and
expenditure provided by respondents.
18
McMorran et al (2013) showed that landowners
(individuals rather than communities) can generate
profits from commercial property rents, and from
some tourism and leisure activities, especially if
income from retail units is included. However, other
economic activities in the Cairngorms were either
carried out at a loss to the landowner or, in the case
of in-hand agriculture, only generated a surplus due
to public support payments and grants. In-hand
agriculture, forestry and woodland management,
and conservation management were economic
activities that required significant payments of tax
payers money. In contrast using land for sporting
purposes did not attract grants but, despite being a
loss-making activity, was practiced on 41
landholdings. As Thirgood et al., (2000) pointed out
grouse shooting is one of the few uplands land uses
which is not directly subsidised by the government.
Economic
Activity
No. of
landholdings
involved
Income £
Expenditure £
Remarks
In-hand
agriculture
28
6 million +
3.9 million
44% of income from
public support payments
and grants
Tenanted
agriculture
30
1.3 million
1.35 million
1.1 million income from
farm rents
Forestry and
woodland
management
44
2.3 million
2.6 million
39% of income from
planting and
management grants
Sporting land
uses
41
4.4 million +
6 million
No subsidies or grants
received
Conservation
management
30
1.1 million
1.9 million
£713,250 income sourced
from public grants
Residential
property
38
1.6 million
2.1 million
Barriers to further
development included
lack of grants to
refurbish properties
Commercial
property
11
533,000
137,000
High income to
expenditure ratio. 66
business tenants on the
11 landholdings
Tourism or
leisure,
including
retail
32
9 million
5.7 million
Retail income from seven
landholdings produced
3.1 million income
Table 3.1 Economic activities, income and expenditure, in Cairngorms National Park
19
4. The social situation of moorland communities
As noted above, upland, moorland communities are
located in Less Favoured Areas, meaning the
geography of the area limits the viability of
agricultural production other than livestock
production. Figure 4.1 shows the Less Favoured Areas
in England. LFAs are classified as either Severely
Disadvantaged Areas (SDAs) and Disadvantaged
Areas (DAs), with SDAs being areas where other
agricultural production is severely restricted,
exacerbating the need for alternative income
resources and means of providing a sustainable local
economy. These areas are rural and predominantly
sparsely populated (Department of Environment Food
and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 2011) and, when this is
combined with the limited employment opportunities,
the need for strong communities supported by local
landowners and businesses, is of great importance.
Grouse moor management, both as a stand-alone
business and as part of agricultural diversification to
ensure farm sustainability, can be of great importance.
The overlap of areas managed as grouse moors with
these Less Favoured Areas can be seen in Figure 4.1
and 4.2, indicating grouse moor management is seen
by landowners as a viable way to utilise less
favourable land.
Figure 4.1 Less Favoured Areas in England (DEFRA, 2011)
20
Figure 4.2 Map showing Moorland Association keepered grouse moor areas
(Printed with the permission of the Moorland Association)
21
There is a recognised lack of evidence in relation to
the social impacts directly relating to shooting.
National Resources Wales (NRW) carried out a
consultation on shooting over its land in 2017, which
indicated a lack of research in the area of social
impact and well-being and highlighted the
complexity of assessing well-being in the
communities affected (Natural Resources Wales,
2017). The remote nature of the majority of moorland
communities means that the value of strong
community networks and a vibrant local economy,
both subjectively to individuals in terms of their
mental health and well-being and to society in terms
of potential cost savings to taxpayer in maintaining
that well-being and avoiding poor mental health, can
be particularly important.
When considering ‘social impacts this review
considers what difference the presence of grouse
moor management in upland communities makes to
people’s social and work lives and their health and
well-being. These impacts may be on individuals, the
people they know, the community or wider society. It
considers both social and community cohesion and
the social determinants of health as defined by
Dahlgren and Whitehead, 1991 shown in Figure 4.3
below.
4.1 Green space management, access and health and
well-being
The impact of management of uplands for grouse
shooting on the environment has been well-
researched. Grouse populations have been increased
via management of moorland including both predator
control and heather burning (Baines et al., 2014;
Fletcher, Newborn and Baines, 2014; Ludwig et al.,
2017). Heather burning is used to provide improved
habitat for grouse breeding and it allows the
distinctive purple heather landscape that can be seen
in the northern parts of the UK to be maintained.
Without burning, the North Yorkshire Moors, for
example, would be a very different landscape with far
fewer flowers and more ‘woody’ heather plants, which
would impact a variety of birds, animals and flora
(North York Moors National Park , 2018). Managed
heather burning (often referred to as muirburn in
Scotland) reduces fuel load and creates fire breaks,
potentially reducing wildfire risk, which will vary
regionally and depend on climate and visitor
pressure, both of which are expected to increase the
prevalence and intensity of wildfires in future
(Fletcher, Newborn and Baines, 2014).
Research has shown that there is high usage of
upland moors for birdwatching and walking by both
people who live in upland moor areas (McMorran,
Bryce and Glass, 2015) and the wider UK population.
The RSPB has estimated that upland areas of the UK
host 100 million day visits per year (Royal Society for
the Protection of Birds (RSPB), no date). Predator
control for grouse shooting increases numbers of
certain bird species such as Red Grouse, Golden
Plover, Curlew and Lapwing (Baines et al., 2014).
Raptor numbers can also be positively impacted by
management of land for grouse shooting (Ludwig et
al., 2017) and whilst alleged hen harrier persecution is
often suggested as an issue (Avery, 2016), those
managing the uplands are working in partnership
with a wide range of relevant organisations to ensure
wildlife crime is tackled and that legal measures are
used to ensure raptors and grouse can thrive
alongside one another in these unique habitats
(Uplands Stakeholder Forum, 2016), for the benefit of
all. Birdwatching is a pastime enjoyed by many
individuals throughout the UK , with birdsong’
enhancing individuals’ experience of the countryside.
The RSPB has over 12,000 volunteers and over 1
million members (RSPB, 2017) and these individuals,
along with many other people throughout the UK,
value birds in the natural environment and gain
enjoyment through birdwatching, a positive social
impact, when groups of birdwatchers meet up to
enjoy their pastime together.
Figure 4.3 Social Determinants of Health (Dahlgren and
Whitehead, 1991)
22
Access to green spaces has been shown to positively
impact people’s physical and mental well-being.
Exercise outdoors has been shown to have a greater
positive benefit than exercise indoors (Zhang, 2017;
Thompson Coon et al., 2011; Loureiro, Veloso and
Veloso, 2014; Frühauf et al., 2016). Access to green
spaces has been shown to help increase activity and
reduce obesity (Coombes, Jones and Hillsdon, 2010;
Countryside Recreation Network, 2006). Physical
inactivity and obesity can lead to long term
conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular
disease (Leong and Wilding, 1999), which are costly
to manage in the NHS. A 2014 study indicated that
obesity had a burden of around £47 billion a year on
society (circa 3% of GDP), making it the greatest
impact after smoking (Dobbs et al., 2014), which is
more than the annual cost of armed violence, war and
terrorism (Press Association, 2014).
The availability of accessible green spaces to
encourage physical activity could reduce this
economic burden on society, a wider social impact.
The 2014 PACEC study into all types of shooting,
found that the majority of the demographic group
engaged in shooting (of all types) were male and over
40 (Public and Corporate Economic Consultants
(PACEC), 2014). It has been estimated that only 40%
of men complete moderate physical exercise (30
minutes a day, five or more days a week) (Pollard,
2010). It has been suggested the best form of
exercise for men reluctant to take up physical activity
is to find something they enjoy and can easily include
in everyday activities, with walking being considered
one of the best options (Pollard, 2010). An analysis of
18 best observational studies, from a review of 4,295
studies on walking from 1970, found walking reduced
the risk of heart problems by 31% and the risk of
death by 32% (during the study period) (Harvard
Men’s Health Watch, 2009; Pollard, 2010).
Spending time outdoors has been shown to have
positive mental well-being benefits (Frühauf et al.,
2016; Kerr et al., 2012; Ryan et al., 2010). Additionally,
the role of land in human spirituality, connection with
a perceived god in a place of ‘therapeutic stillness,
has been considered in relation to overall human
well-being (Winter, 2012). In a comparative study of
two upland communites, 69% of respondents agreed
that the landscapes resulting from grouse moor
management were beautiful (McMorran, 2009). Areas
like uplands, even when they are some distance from
individuals’ homes, have been shown to be areas to
which people hold strong attachments (Williams,
2011).
4.2 The importance of identity
Those who live in rural communities such as the
uplands often have a strong rural identity and sense
of place, which they hold dear (Williams, 2011). An
individual strong feeling of identity can have positive
impacts on mental well-being. It can “provide
individuals with a sense of meaning, purpose, and
belonging (i.e. a positive sense of social
identity)” (Haslam et al., 2009 p.1), which usually has
positive psychological consequences (Haslam et al.,
2009). Rural identity has been explored in prior
research (Heley, 2010, 2011), with those involved in
shooting expressing clear, rural identities (Hillyard
and Burridge, 2012; Latham-Green, 2020), (for some
respondents) links to their cultural heritage
(McMorran et al., 2013), and valuing activities which
were grounded in ‘rural realities’ (McMorran, 2009).
UNESCO has identified intangible cultural heritage
(ICH), which relates to social practices, knowledge
and seasonal events that some individuals and
communities recognise to be part of their cultural
heritage, as an important factor in the well-being of
individuals (United Nations Educational, 2018). In his
study into the Economic, Social and Environmental
Contribution of Landowners in the Cairngorms
National Park , McMorran (2013) found that
participants felt grouse moor management
contributed to preservation of a ‘culturally significant
activity and landscape’. In this 2013 study most
respondents (75%) ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that
grouse shooting was an important part of the culture
and history of the community (McMorran et al., 2013),
findings in line with his earlier work considering ‘Red
Grouse and the Tomintoul and Strathdon
Communities’ where 81% of respondents felt that
grouse shooting was a strong part of the community’s
culture and heritage (McMorran, 2009).
23
A 2020 study looking at the social impact of
participation in driven game shooting found that
91.3% of participants surveyed (n=2424) felt a strong
countryside identity, which was not dependent on
residence in a rural area, as no significant, statistical
differences in opinion on rural identity were found
when comparing responses from rural and urban
dwellers, but was rather connected to the rural
activity in which they participated: driven game
shooting. Many respondents also felt a strong sense
of heritage through their participating in shooting,
believing that taking part in shooting represented a
link to heritage and returning to their roots, a
seasonal ritual which was often shared across
generations, a finding that was particularly true for
those who grew up in rural areas but now live in
urban areas (Latham-Green, 2020). Identity, as
explored in Latham-Green’s study, is a key element of
building strong social networks, one of the wider
determinants of health (Dahlgren and Whitehead,
1991).
4.3 Employment, training and local economy- a well-
being perspective
The impacts of grouse moor management in uplands
in relation to employment and training are covered in
section 3. However, it is important to note the wider
social impacts of employment and training which, as
noted earlier and shown in Figure 4.3, have been
identified as social determinants of health by
Dahlgren and Whitehead (1991. Employment is
recognized as one of the key determinants of both
good health and a key means for tackling inequalities
(Ellis and Fry, 2010; Bartley, Ferrie and Montgomery,
2005; Dahlgren G and Whitehead, 1991).
Prior research has shown that having a variety of
skilled employment opportunities is particularly
important in the more remote, rural areas of the UK
where alternative employment is often limited and/or
seasonal (Monk et al., 1999; Scottish Government,
2012). In his 2009 study of Tomintoul and Strathdon
Communities, McMorran found that grouse shooting
made a very significant contribution to the local
economy, in terms of employment and benefit for
local businesses, with 81% of respondents agreeing
that the community received benefits from the
existence of the grouse shooting industry and 58%
feeling that grouse shooting was a major employer in
the area. The indirect impacts of this employment on
the wider community have also been highlighted in
diverse areas from hospitality, with one local garage
reporting 80% of its business came from the grouse
shooting estates (McMorran, 2009). While this study
found that just 10% of respondents were directly
employed by the grouse shooting industry, 18% of
respondents said their livelihood was directly
dependent on the grouse shooting industry
(McMorran, 2009). McMorran’s later report which
considered the ‘Economic, Social and Environmental
Contribution of Landowners in the Cairngorms
National Park’ found that out of season gamekeepers
and estate workers using local cafes, shops and
restaurants which all provided local employment,
helped sustain a local economy and community that
would otherwise not be viable (McMorran et al., 2013).
A job can enable people to build relationships and a
social network and contacts for future opportunities
for themselves or their families l (Dreiling et al., 2015).
Employment can also contribute to an individual’s
role identity and sense of purpose/belonging (Stets
and Burke, 2000; Walsh and Gordon, 2008), which as
noted above has been shown to positively impact
well-being (Haslam et al., 2009).
A lack of diverse training and skills development
opportunities in rural areas has been recognised as
an issue due to a number of factors including
transport and access to further education (Monk et
al., 1999; Scottish Government, 2012; The Commission
for Rural Communities, 2012). Development of skills
has been shown to potentially positively impact well-
being through increasing self-esteem and self-
efficacy (Denny et al., 2011; Hazenberg, Seddon and
Denny, 2015). Careers directly linked to shooting
include game-keeping, gun dog training,
gunsmithing, land conservation, ecosystem
management and shotgun tuition. Training is
currently widely available, with BASC listing 29
colleges offering game-keeping courses (British
Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC),
2018). The 2014 PACEC report into the value of all
types of shooting included case studies of colleges
providing countryside management and shooting
related training in the south west, north west and
south east of England (Public and Corporate
Economic Consultants (PACEC), 2014).
24
This PACEC (2014) report also identified a number of
personal development and training opportunities,
particularly for young people, including gunsmithing
apprenticeships, training for specific health
maintenance and safety reasons and shooting
competitions for scouts, cadets and schools from age
fourteen onwards. These educational opportunities
help young people develop social skills and health
and safety awareness (Public and Corporate
Economic Consultants (PACEC), 2014). The wider
industries supported by the presence of grouse
shooting in remote, upland areas, such as the
hospitality and retail industries, provide indirect
career opportunities (McMorran, 2009; McMorran et
al., 2013; McMorran, Bryce and Glass, 2015).
4.4 Social cohesion – maintaining strong,
intergenerationally mixed and engaged communities
The proportion of those aged over 65 in the UK is
expected to rise to 26% by 2041, with the greatest
number residing in rural and coastal areas (Office for
National Statistics (ONS), 2018). This increase is likely
partly as a result of the outflow of young people to
towns and cities to find employment, as young people
in rural areas have been found to be at higher risk of
unemployment due to their spatial isolation and to
the narrow range of opportunities which are available
(Cartmel and Furlong, 2000). Rural out-migration of
youth and in-migration of retirees has been
recognized as a threat to sustainable, rural
communities (Thomson, 2012), indicating the
importance of creating a sustainable local economy
with diverse work opportunities. Studies considering
the impact of grouse moor management have
highlighted the positive impact of grouse shooting
estates in ensuring communities maintain an
intergenerational mix (McMorran, 2009; McMorran et
al., 2013; McMorran, Bryce and Glass, 2015).
Inter-generational relationships and the building of
intergenerational understanding and respect have
been recognised as an important element of social
cohesion and social capital (Commision On
Integration And Cohesion, 2007; Hatton-Yeo and
Batty, 2011). It has been recognised that communities
can be strengthened with a positive impact for health
and well-being, through intergenerational connection
(O’Connor et al., 2019). The presence of gamekeepers
with young families getting involved in supporting
community activities such as the highland games and
regularly using local facilities (McMorran, 2009;
McMorran, Bryce and Glass, 2015) contributes to
ensuring a vibrant and active community in upland
areas throughout the year, not just during the tourist
season. The majority of McMorran’s 2015 study
respondents believed there were community-level
benefits of grouse shooting, with 70% in the Angus
Glens and 53% in the Monadhliath noting
community-level benefits, with only 8% in Angus
Glens and 15% in the Monadhliath not noting any
community benefits (McMorran, Bryce and Glass,
2015).
4.5 Social and community networks
People with a shared identity, for example those who
take part in driven game shooting of all quarry types
(Latham-Green, 2020), or who live in upland
communities with a strong cultural and heritage
identity (McMorran, 2009; McMorran et al., 2013),
have been shown to build strong friendships or ‘social
and community networks, based on their shared
understandings and sense of belonging (Latham-
Green, 2020). Social and community networks are
another of the social determinants of health identified
by Dahlgren and Whitehead, 1991 shown in Figure 4.3.
Previous studies into upland communities have
identified positive community support either
facilitated by or directly provided by estates and ways
to further enhance this support (McMorran, 2009;
McMorran et al., 2013; McMorran, Bryce and Glass,
2015).
In terms of those who take part in shooting, a 2016
study looking into all types of shooting found that the
average number of friends made through involvement
in shooting activity was 20. Without shooting, 68% of
respondents said meeting new people would be
harder, 63% said making new friends would be
harder, 62% said maintaining friendships would be
harder, and 77% said their social life in general would
be poorer. An overwhelming 97% of respondents said
they regularly mixed with at least one person due to
their shooting activity. Of those who primarily shot
driven game, beaters and pickers up mixed with 30 or
more people on a regular basis through shooting
(British Association for Shooting & Conservation
(BASC), 2016).
25
4.6 Wider social impact: Conflict
Shooting birds for sport is a controversial area, with
a number of high profile opponents with expertise in
utilising social media and other online platforms to
express their views, especially in relation to grouse
shooting (Avery, 2016; Knapton, 2017). Negative
perceptions of grouse shooting in the media have
been raised in previous studies of upland
communities (McMorran, Bryce and Glass, 2015) and
can cause conflict between those for and against
game shooting (Latham-Green, 2020), which can
lead to confrontations and negative consequences.
Those taking part in all types of driven game
shooting have expressed their concerns at not being
able to challenge the negative perceptions of their
pastime due to their lack of social media expertise
(Latham-Green, 2020). A lack of understanding of
grouse moor management has been cited by
respondents in earlier studies as a reason for
people’s opposition to grouse shooting (McMorran,
2009; McMorran et al., 2013). It has been recognized
that input from social scientists is needed to help
conflicting parties in environmental disputes to
identify shared values (Williams, 2011). However, it
has also been noted that there are some who are
vehemently opposed to shooting birds for sport who
cannot be persuaded by balanced and objective
evidence and it is unclear whether further
knowledge of the social benefits would mediate
their views (Latham-Green, 2020).
4.7 The potential value of social impacts
Poor mental health has been estimated to cost the
UK approximately £105 billion9 a year when the
various social and economic factors are taken into
account (Centre for Mental Health, 2010; Department
of Health Independent Mental Health Taskforce,
2016). For each individual affected, it has been
suggested maintaining mental well-being could be
valued at £10,560 per person, per annum.
(Maccagnan et al., 2019).
In terms of individual direct costs for managing
mental health in 2007, the average unit cost to the
NHS of treating someone with depression was
estimated at £2,085, the equivalent of £2,915 in
201910 and the average cost of lost employment
related to depression was £9,311, the equivalent of
£13,016 in 2019 (Mccrone et al., 2008). There is also
evidence that poor mental health can exacerbate
physical symptoms of illness (Barnett et al., 2012),
thereby costing the NHS more to treat people; costs
that can potentially be avoided if people maintain
good mental health and well-being. In 2007, the
average service costs for people with anxiety
disorders in treatment or where their condition is
recognised was £1,104, the equivalent of £1,543 in
2019. Lost employment related to depression was
£9,311, the equivalent of £13,016 in 2019 (Mccrone et
al., 2008). There is also evidence that poor mental
health can exacerbate physical symptoms of illness
(Barnett et al., 2012), thereby costing the NHS more
to treat people; costs that can potentially be avoided
if people maintain good mental health and well-
being. In 2007, the average service costs for people
with anxiety disorders in treatment or where their
condition is recognised was £1,104, the equivalent of
£1,543 in 2019. Lost employment costs add an
additional £1,298 per person the equivalent of £1,814
in 2019 (Mccrone et al., 2008).
The community and friendship networks facilitated
by a strong, sustainable community can help avoid
loneliness. The overall costs of loneliness for each
individual person can be £6,000 over ten years
(Mcdaid, Bauer and Park, 2017). Loneliness has also
been shown to negatively impact physical health,
increasing the risks of frailty (Gale, Westbury and
Cooper, 2018), of developing coronary heart disease,
and vulnerability to strokes (Valtorta et al., 2018).
Social networks have also been shown to help long-
term conditions management (Hinder and
Greenhalgh, 2012). In terms of physical fitness,
those directly involved in driven grouse shooting as
beaters and pickers-up or gamekeepers walk long
distances, with one study finding distances walked
were between 15-20km on a shoot day for moorland
beaters (Latham-Green, 2020) and those who
access the uplands outside of the grouse shooting
season for walking could be said to benefit
indirectly from grouse moor management. It has
been estimated avoiding premature death due to
physical activity has been valued at £34,818 per
person11 , equivalent to £55,464 in 2019 (The Scottish
Government, 2003).
26
5. Research Questions and Methodology
This study set out to build on, and add to, the work
of previous research by addressing three research
questions:
What are the key economic and social impact
factors in upland, moorland areas managed for
grouse shooting?
How economically and socially resilient are
communities in areas managed for grouse
shooting compared to other UK areas?
How can the economic value of any social
impacts resulting from grouse moor
management be assessed?
5.1 Methodology
In line with previous studies considering economic
and social impacts, a two-stage, mixed methods
approach was adopted, combining a literature
review with semi-structured interviews, analysed to
find common themes, which were them used to
develop a second stage questionnaire for wider
distribution to gather quantitative data.
The survey included some questions for which a
national comparator dataset existed. The inclusion
of these questions allowed comparison to be made
between social and economic impacts in upland,
moorland areas managed for grouse shooting and
the UK as a whole.
5.2 Data Collection
5.2.1 Secondary Data Collection
The literature review provided an overview of the
research base into the social and economic impacts
of upland, moorland management for grouse
shooting.
The area of upland in England that is most similar in
terms of geography, access, and infrastructure to
areas where grouse moor management is practiced
is the Lake District. Although there are some small
game bird and clay shoots operating in the Lake
District, there is no recent history of sustained
upland management that incorporates grouse
shooting. Therefore, the authors set out to gather
data from inhabitants of communities in the Lake
District to enable a comparison to be made
between them, and communities in areas where
grouse shooting takes place. The survey developed
by the study was shared with open groups (with
over 80,000 members between them) in the Lake
District using social media (no reference was made
to shooting in the promotion of the survey as we did
not want to attract responses from people that
shoot and might seek to influence the results), as
detailed in section 5.3.3.
However, despite a sustained social media
campaign, only one response to the survey was
received from the Lake District. We have no
explanation for this pitifully low response rate. It
should be noted that the same survey received 583
responses from people living in other upland areas.
Therefore, the study has used quantitative
secondary data to compare the Lake District and
other upland National Parks in England, in
particular the North York Moors and
Northumberland National Parks. These areas are the
most similar to the Lake District so some broad
comparisons are possible. We did have some
interviewees that either lived, or had lived, in the
Lake District for many years and, where appropriate,
we were able to use their primary data along with
secondary information. A number of national
datasets, as detailed in Table 2.1 on page 13 were
used to compare survey responses to national data.
5.2.2 Primary Data Collection: Qualitative
Interviews are a highly obtrusive form of data
collection, defined by Rieger and Wong-Rieger
(1995) as “conversations for the purpose of
obtaining specific information”. They have
advantages over other data collection methods
used in social science research, including the ability
to establish rapport with respondents and thus
increase the likelihood of responses, as well as the
opportunity for the respondent to clarify and explain
their answers to the interviewer’s questions. Belson
(1981) stresses the importance of testing interview
questions before they are used with respondents.
Kumar, Stern and Anderson (1993) point out that
respondents should be knowledgeable about the
issues being researched.
27
Huber and Power (1985) point out that informants
sometimes provide inaccurate or biased data, for four
possible reasons: they are motivated to do so; their
perceptual and cognitive limitations result in
inadvertent errors; they lack crucial information
about the topic of interest; or they have been poorly
questioned. Dexter (1970) makes the obvious, but
important point that the interviewers should have
relevant experience of the topic being researched so
they can interpret what they hear and ask meaningful
supplementary questions.
Research into any activities that are connected, no
matter how remotely, with shooting is prone to
generate emotional responses. Therefore, although
this study is about the economic and social
circumstances of moorland communities, the fact
that a comparative factor is the existence, or not, of
grouse shooting in an area, meant the researchers
had to take particular care to ensure they got useful
and objective data from the interviews. Interview
questions were tested both with people that shoot, or
are involved in shooting in some capacity (n=3), and
with people that had no knowledge of shooting (n=3).
People that piloted the interview questions either
lived in moorland communities, or had lived in them
in the past. Potential interview respondents were
initially identified by personal recommendation from
moorland groups regional coordinators, and then by
asking interviewees to suggest potential interviewees
that lived and worked in their area, both those that
had some connection with shooting and, crucially,
those that did not. Given that all people that were
interviewed (n=61) either lived (or in the case of a
retired vicar had lived) in moorland communities or
travelled to them for work or leisure, it was
reasonable to assume that respondents were
knowledgeable about the areas being researched.
Both members of the research team have extensive
experience in interviewing people about the impacts
of participation in driven game shooting, the topic of
Latham-Green’s 2020 study. Latham-Green has
worked for the NHS and has carried out previous
studies into wellbeing. Denny set up the Institute for
Social Innovation and Impact at the University of
Northampton and has carried out detailed work into
economic and social impacts of activities, for clients
including the Ministry of Defence and the Royal
College of Nursing. Latham-Green does not shoot
and, apart from her PhD study, has had no
involvement in shooting. Denny has shot for many
years, as well as being a keen birdwatcher and a
member of two county wildlife groups. Therefore, the
researchers were confident they had relevant
experience of the topic being researched.
Additionally, both researchers reviewed each other’s
interview notes to guard against unconscious bias.
To mitigate against respondents providing inaccurate
or biased data, interview data was triangulated with
data from the literature review and the survey. In
addition, confirmation of data provided by some
interviewees was provided by asking other informed
interviewees for their understanding of a topic. In
addition, the researchers (appropriately) challenged
some statements by respondents (e.g. by saying
things such as ‘surely, that cannot be correct’) to give
respondents the opportunity to reflect on what they
had said. Finally, the researchers would occasionally
ask closed questions (e.g. by asking questions such
as ‘surely there cannot be much going on in (name of
community)?’ or ‘so moorland management is just for
profit?’) to generate an immediate response that
could be followed up with supplementary questions.
It should be noted that the latter tactics were only
used in interviews where a rapport between
interviewer and respondent had been established.
A total of 61 individuals with relevant connections to
upland, moorland communities were interviewed
using a semi-structured questionnaire. Interviewees
included moor owners, shooting tenants, land agents,
gamekeepers, people that go beating, publicans,
vicars, shop owners, upland contractors, moorland
trust coordinators, local residents, police officers and
teachers.
28
The interviews were spread across the UK with
specific individuals living in Cumbria (4), County
Durham (3), North Yorkshire Moors (13), Yorkshire
Dales (3), Northumberland and North Pennines (8),
the Peak District (3), Wales (6), Scotland (3) and 18
individuals with knowledge, experience or
involvement spanning one or more of the areas
stated in relation to grouse moor management. Due
to the restrictions imposed by covid-19, interviews
were conducted by telephone or using the Zoom
platform, and great efforts were made to establish a
rapport using these communication methods. All
interviewees had the aims of the study explained, and
the ethical processes the research followed were
discussed. Interviewees were assured that their
responses would be anonymous and that it would not
be possible to identify them from their responses.
Detailed notes were taken during each interview, and
written up within two working days. As noted above,
the researchers exchanged the notes they made from
their interviews so they could be reviewed for
unconscious bias.
5.2.3 Primary Data Collection: Quantitative
A survey which developed out of the themes
identified from the qualitative interviews and
literature review was distributed from 18th June 2020
to 3rd July via email to those who either lived in an
upland, moorland community or had a strong
connection to it in terms of either land management
and/or their work. The survey included demographic
data, area of residence and a number of questions
relating to economic and social impact factors in
moorland communities.
As noted above in section 5.2.1, upland, moorland
areas in England were of particular interest in this
study. In order to try and gain responses from both
those involved in grouse shooting and moor
management and residents with no formal or direct
connection to shooting, the sharing of the
questionnaire was encouraged and it was distributed
using social media in 11 generic upland, moorland
groups with a total of circa 81,000 members and five
country sports related groups, with a total of circa
6,700 members. The post encouraged people to
share the survey with others who lived in upland,
moorland communities and utilising the canva
photograph to draw attention to the posting in
individuals’ newsfeeds, as shown in Figure 5.1.
Figure 5.1 ‘Canva’ used to promote the survey on
Facebook
The survey was open from 17th June to 3
rd July 2020
and received 583 responses from upland moorland
owners, residents and others with a connection to
upland moorland management. Of these respondents,
396 were identified as living in upland, moorland
areas of England managed for grouse shooting and
73 were identified as owning or leasing moors. The
survey was shared in open groups in the upland,
moorland areas using social media, including groups
specifically located in the Lake District area alone
with over 11,000 members, with no reference made to
shooting in the social media post. Unfortunately, only
one survey respondent lived within the moorland
area of England where land is not managed for
grouse, therefore desk research and national
statistical data was used for comparator purposes.
A summary of the demographic breakdown of
respondent data is shown in Table 5.1
29
Upland, English grouse
managed moorland residents
All survey
respondents
Grouse Moor Owners/
Leaseholders
No of Responses
396
583
73
Gender – Male
73.5%
78.2%
93.2%
Gender – Female
26.5%
21.8%
6.8%
Age
Mean
48.3
50.5
56.3
Median
49.5
51
55
Range
15 to 85
15 to 89
22 to 85
Table 5.1 Survey respondents’ demographic data
Figure 5.2 and Figure 5.3 show the broad range of educational and occupational levels of individuals
answering the survey, illustrating the diversity of survey respondents.
Figure 5.2 Respondents’ qualification levels, compared to the national average
30
The respondents came from a wide range of
educational backgrounds, although the residents of
upland moorland communities, all survey
respondents and moor owners and leaseholders
were more likely to have a qualification at level 4 or
above compared to the national average and a lot
less likely to have no qualifications at all, indicating
perhaps a wide range of educational opportunities
on offer within these communities. Education is one
of the wider determinants of health (Dahlgren and
Whitehead, 1991) and can positively impact health
and well-being.
Figure 5.3 Respondents’ occupation levels
31
Whilst moor owners work in predominantly higher-
level occupations (as would be expected because of
the amount of resource required to own or manage
a grouse moor) the other respondents were spread
across a wide range of occupational backgrounds.
5.3 Data Analysis
5.3.1 Qualitative Data Analysis
A total of 61 interviews (see Appendix 1) were
completed and analysed using an inductive method
to identify the emerging themes of economic,
intangible and social impacts. The results of the
analysis of qualitative data are shown in section 6.
5.3.2 Quantitative Data Analysis
The responses were checked for outliers and
normality of distribution where required for
statistical testing. Normal distribution of data
allowed the use of the independent t-test for
statistical comparison with national datasets where
possible. The data was analysed using Microsoft
Excel 2016 and SPSS version 22, using national
datasets as comparators where appropriate.
5.3.3. Triangulation
Mixed methods studies such as this one enable
triangulation of results to improve validity, if the
results show mutual confirmation (Bryman, 1988).
The data from the quantitative and qualitative
analysis was brought together with the findings of
the literature review to further validate the results
shown in section 6.
6. Findings
6.1 Economic Impacts
“Grouse moor owners put a lot of money into their
estates, and most don’t run at a profit. There is a
well-known phrase, ‘how do you get £1 million by
running a grouse moor? Start with £2 million’!! That
sums it up” (Andrew Green, Managing Director,
Green’s of Haddington, 25 May 202012).
A number of claims are made about the economic
impact of grouse moors. The GWCT13 cites the
report The Value of Grouse Moor
Management (commissioned in 2015 by the
Countryside Alliance and the National Gamekeepers’
Organisation) which indicated that grouse moor
owners in England spend £52.5 million every year
on grouse moor management. The report also
indicated that businesses associated with grouse
shooting benefit by £15.2 million every year. These
include game dealers, accommodation providers,
equipment suppliers, catering establishments and
transport operators. The GWCT points out that many
of these businesses are in economically Less
Favoured Areas in remote rural locations which
depend on grouse shooting as the main economic
driver outside the tourist season. It is claimed that
grouse moors in England support 1,520 full time
equivalent jobs. 700 of these are directly involved in
grouse moor management, and a further 820 jobs
are in related services and industries. The Moorland
Association’s website, citing the same report,
suggests that the owners and sporting tenants of its
175 member grouse moors in England and Wales
spend a combined total of £52.5 million on land
management a year, of which 90% is privately
invested14. All of these organisations are, of course,
regarded as supporters of well-managed and legal
shooting.
As part of the analysis of the data gathered from
interviewees (n = 61) for this report , we isolated
examples of economic impact that were described
to us. It is fair to say we were surprised by the range
and depth of these economic impacts described.
The economic impacts identified are, inevitably,
linked and part of a holistic whole. However, we
were able to identify six different economic impacts,
only two of which are cited by the GWCT and the
Moorland Association. Therefore, we believe our
economic impact model is more complete than that
developed by previous studies.
To illu st rate the r a n ge of economic i mp ac t s
described, they were divided into a number of levels,
or orders, based on how immediately they were
delivered, and how easy they were to measure. The
schematic shown at Fig. 6.1 was developed to display
the impacts. The lower order (fourth, fifth and sixth
level) are not simple to measure, but they need to be
included to reflect the symbiotic and integrated
nature of the economic effects of managing a moor
for grouse.
32
Integrated Moorland Management Economic Impacts
Immediate
Easier to measure
Long-term
Harder to measure
First order
Employment of keepers: salaries; housing; vehicles; equipment
(year-round)
Expenditure of Guns: hotels/inns/pubs; shops; garages; vehicle
hire (seasonal)
Casual labour on shoot days: beaters; flankers; pickers-up;
loaders; drivers; catering (seasonal)
Second order
Engagement of outdoor contractors: roads; fencing; butts; peat
restoration; bracken control; blocking drainage channels etc.
(annual cycle)
Engagement of indoor contractors: builders; carpenters etc.
(annual cycle)
Expenditure with community shops, restaurants, pubs etc.:
keepers, estate staff (year-round)
Engagement of professional services: legal; land agent; sporting
agent (as required)
Third order
HLS/Countryside Stewardship scheme: tenants/owners financial
facilitation role enables HLS to operate to benefit of estate and
farmers
Fourth order
Maintenance of accessible, attractive landscape encourages
tourism (year-round)
High-quality hotels, restaurants, pubs geared up to shooting
increases quality of non-shooting tourist experience and per head
spend (year-round)
Fifth order
Bracken and tick control: reduced cost of health risk to human,
farm animal and wildlife (annual cycle)
Sixth order
Carbon sequestration: reduction in wildfires; peat formation (year-
round)
Flood reduction: drain blocking and watercourse engineering
(annual cycle)
Figure 6.1: Schematic showing economic impacts of integrated moorland management, including grouse shooting.
33
6.1.1 First Order
“I cannot think of any activity that could take place
on the moors that generates anything like the
income that grouse shooting does. Walkers, bird-
watchers, cyclists are welcome to use the moor, but
they all do so for free. When they go into the local
villages, they buy some meals and normal tourist
stuff, but don’t spend heavily like the shooting
parties.
P4, Land Agent
The first order economic impacts are those directly
resulting from the activities involved in the shooting
of grouse; the employment of keepers (the great
majority of which are employed full time) and the
engagement of casual labour in the form of beaters,
loaders, pickers up, drivers, caterers etc. Included in
this first order impact is the money spent by people
shooting (the Guns), both the money they pay to the
estate, and the money spent with local hotels and
businesses during the season. This report does not
set out to estimate the total value of this first order
economic impact in the UK; we do not intend to
replicate the work of earlier studies. However, we will
examine a few case studies that illustrate the scale
and importance of first order economic impacts to
remote moorland communities.
As noted elsewhere in this report, estates do not
solely depend on grouse shooting for their income.
They have a number of income-generating activities,
integrated with each other and often co-dependent,
which combine to produce the classic moorland flora
and fauna. Most of these activities attract subsidies,
with the exception of grouse shooting, and the
income from grouse shooting is vital to many estates.
A farming estate owner in North Yorkshire provides
an interesting case study.
“If we look at the economics of my moorland, each
ewe will have on average 1.5 lambs, worth £40.00
each in the market. So, each ewe can produce
£60.00 income. You can have one sheep on four
acres of moor without doing damage to the land.
You can have a pair of grouse on four acres, and
they average six or seven young. Their value is £80
– 100 a bird each. For a thousand acres of moorland
you can earn c. £15,000 from sheep, or c. £120,000
from grouse. On a well farmed moor grouse provide
a much better return. In addition, whereas for every
1,000 ewes you need one full-time worker; you
need a full-time worker for every 500 brace of
grouse. Because grouse produce a good return, you
employ more staff, and they have families and live
locally. Cattle are less profitable than sheep due to
overheads such as silage, sheds, machinery etc.
However, cattle improve the land for ground-
nesting birds including curlew, lapwing, woodcock.
Cattle work brilliantly as part of an integrated
system.
P2, Farmer and estate owner, North Yorkshire
The amount of money estates earn from grouse
depends on the numbers of grouse available to shoot
(and in some years there may not be any), and how
much they charge the Guns. Most of the money
charged for shooting goes to pay the wages of the
gamekeepers and the costs of their housing, vehicles
and equipment. As we have described elsewhere in
this report, most estates do not set out to make a
profit from shooting grouse and the owners or
tenants are investing their own capital into the
activity.
People that want to shoot grouse spend money not
only with estates, but also with local businesses. In
many cases their expenditure is vital to the local
community. A moor owner in Northumberland
described how on a shooting day he has nine Guns,
who come from throughout the UK as well as the
USA, Germany and Italy. The guns typically stay in six
or seven local hotels.
“The (Name of Hotel) in (Name of village) is a
key local hotel for shooting. it is owned by a
charity which lets it to a firm that runs a number
of hotels aimed at shooting parties.
P3
34
This hotel is also used by Guns shooting with
another estate owner who said,
“Guns stay in local hotels, such as the (Name of
Hotel). Without shooting the local hotels would
struggle. They are normally completely booked by
shooting parties from 11 August to October. (Name
of village) is small and quiet. It is a much more
social place during the season. Shooting is a key
part of social life for many locals. There is no local
hostility to shooting, it is absolutely integral to the
area.
P8
Other hotels and inns earn substantial income from
shooting. A farmer in North Yorkshire said,
“There are nine guns shooting on a day on my
moor. One or two teams come from abroad each
year. The guns stay in the local pub, the (Name of
Pub) at (Name of village), which is a big shooting
pub.
P2
When interviewed, the landlord of this pub explained
how important shooting parties were to his
business.
“I set out to run the inn so it would be used by the
shooting community. When I took the pub over
there were six bedrooms, there are now 15. The
cost is £90.00 per night, plus food. There is an
extensive evening menu designed for parties of 10
– 12. As well as me and my wife, I employ six chefs
and up to 30 other staff at the height of the
shooting season. I try to employ locals wherever
possible. In a typical year 30% of my business
from August to September is shooting parties, and
it is at least 20% of his business from October to
January. Keepers use the pub all year round. I am
the biggest employer in (Name of village) and the
biggest hotel or inn for 10 miles in any direction.
(Name of village) has about 500 people; apart
from the (Name of pub), there is a shop/Post
Office, but it is only open part time. He works with
a number of shoots. The (Name of pub) is a
destination inn for shooters, and is geared to up
help people have a great time shooting. The staff
understand the needs of teams of guns, it gets
them away in the morning, half the rooms allow
dogs and I liaise with team organisers. If there was
no shooting, life would be tough. There are
walkers and tourists, but they don’t spend as much
as shooting people. Without shooting or tourism,
there is no point in (Name of village), 2018 was a
tough year because of the low grouse numbers, I
took on many fewer staff.
P25
Grouse shooting is expensive. Many people that
want to shoot grouse also want to indulge
themselves by booking luxury accommodation. Two
owners of luxury- country house hotels in North
Yorkshire gain significant income from shooting
parties. One owner explained,
“I have six or seven let days on the moor a year,
and typically for each of these days nine guns will
stay in the hotel for two to three nights. Shooting
accounts for c. 140 bed nights a year15 in the
castle, and another 50 60 room nights in other
hotels and inns. I also provide catering on the
moor for the guns and beaters. The overseas
grouse teams are especially big spenders. It is
very high-end tourism”. The other country house-
hotel owner remarked, “I am in the sales and
marketing profession. I charge a team of guns
(normally eight people) a price for the house of
£3,500 + VAT per day. Many teams also bring
wives, partners etc. In a good year I will sell 35
40 days, in a moderate year perhaps only 32. In
2018, a bad year for grouse, I only sold 25 days.”
P12
To operate these two enterprises, over 150 full time
staff are employed in a normal year. Both of these
houses are in locations that have no major industry
or employers and are thus very important to the
economy of their moorland area.
35
Grouse shooting attracts many Guns from overseas
whose expenditure is, in effect, export earnings. The
second of the country house-hotel owners cited in
the previous paragraph points out,
“Overseas guests account for about 60% of my
business in August, and at least 50% of it in
September. They bring big money into the UK as
they also spend lots of money locally. In the North
Yor k Moor s and the Nor th Pennines , for eign
clients account for about 80% of the Guns in
August and about 70% in September. They bring
big money into the UK as they also spend lots of
money locally. The amount of tourist dollars spent
is massive. Teeside Airport is probably only open
because of private jets coming in for the shooting
season”.
P20
A moor owner in Northumberland also mentioned
Teeside Airp or t,
“Guns fly into Teeside Airport in private jets, they
hire vehicles and drivers, they stay at local inns
and hotels for two or three nights. Many of them
bring wives or partners who go spend money
locally in Durham or places like Bowes Museum.
A vast amount of money is spent.
P3
The owner of a very large estate in Scotland agreed
that overseas clients are important,
“a lot of teams of guns come to Inverness Airport
each season. They spend money with taxi firms,
car hire firms, caterers, laundries and contractors.
The Guns are international.” He made the point
that, “the Red Grouse is one of the few animals
that is indigenous to the UK and the UK alone. We
need to look after them. The UK is unique for the
volume and quality of its gamebird shooting. We
do it in a much more professional and smarter
way than the USA, Spain, France or Germany. They
don’t have the tradition of gamebird shooting we
do. It is a great story and it is undersold. We are
the Rolls Royce of game shooting. The Americans
are over-awed by the formality and
professionalism of our moors. Of course, there are
some poor shoots, but good ones are excellent
and it is not found anywhere else. We have
something here that is not replicable.”
P18
A sporting agent described the impact made by one
US citizen that rented the shooting on a North York
Moor for 20 years.
“Each year the client and his invited Guns stayed in
(Name of village), in the (Name of hotel). The hotel
provides top class service. Earlier in the season the
Guns would be mainly US citizens, and UK teams
would be on the moor in September and October. The
client took over the (Name of hotel), he had a suite
there for his personal use for much of the year. There
would typically be nine guns staying for six days at a
time, then another team would come in the next
week. Guns would be collected from airports in
locally-hired Range Rovers driven by people from the
village. (Name of the shop) a sporting clothing and
tailors in (Name of village) did very well from the
invited guns. Many of them got very enthusiastic
about the grouse shooting experience. They would
not dream of appearing on the moor without
appropriate clothing. Many of them ordered bespoke
tweed shooting suits from (Name of shop). They
spent vast amounts of money in (Name of shop).
P24
The estimated spend on hotel accommodation alone
each year, in one hotel, was over £75,000.
Some overseas nationals do not lease moors, but
own them. A land agent gave the example of a moor
that was bought over 35 years ago by an
international buyer. He said,
“he employs over 20 full-time staff, mainly
keepers. He also employs lots of staff in the
shooting lodge. It is only the family that shoot,
there are no let days. On a shoot day there will be
over 50 local staff beating, loading, picking up,
driving etc. There are normally 10 to 12 shoot days
a year. He pays for 600 700 man-days
employment a year, as well as the 20 full-time
keepers and the house staff.
P13
The moor is in a remote area of Northumberland.
36
A day’s driven grouse shooting involves more people
than the Guns. On a typical driven day there will be
people employed as beaters, flankers, pickers-up,
loaders, drivers, and caterers. The numbers of these
casually employed staff varies by estate and by the
time of year. A moor needs more beaters in August
when it is warmer and the birds have not been shot
at, so do not fly so keenly. As the season progresses,
fewer beaters are required. The amount of money
spent over a season on casually employed staff
varies; we were given examples ranging from
£60,000 to over £100,000. The ages of those involved
in a day’s shooting ranges from teenagers to (very)
old-age pensioners. Most casually employed staff
are local (within an hours’ drive, which in moorland
areas is less than 30 miles) although people from
some urban areas such as Middlesbrough, Tyneside
and Ashington in Northumberland (which was
mentioned by several interviewees as town with a
long tradition of supplying beaters to estates up to
60 miles away). A sporting agent gave an account of
the numbers of casually employed staff on one moor
in the North York Moors National Park,
“during the grouse season the number of people
out on a shooting day, excluding the Guns, was 60
to 70. There were about 20 days shooting a year if
grouse numbers permitted. There would be about
50 beaters, each getting £50 a day and 10 pickers
up each getting £100 a day. Lunches were done by
a local farmer’s wife who charged £500 a day. The
Guns had their personal loaders who would stay
in a local pub for six to eight weeks during the
season. The client paid for everything, apart from
beer. The bill for loaders was another £8 – 9,000 a
year.
P24
A hotel owner described the impact that the grouse
shooting season has on the Yorkshire Dales,
“Tourism in the Dales is seasonal. Out of season
there is a very slow pace of life. All the estates
have keepers and they are up and about all year
on the moors, it is an isolated life. Prior to the
season the entire community gets excited; young
lads look forward to going beating; pubs, hotels
and shops are all gearing up for business; the
whole place looks forward to getting involved with
and benefiting from shooting.
P20 Hotel Owner
The money earned from casual employment on the
moors can be very important to local residents. A
chartered surveyor16 described how he met a man
working his dogs on the moor and recognized him
as the person who had run the outdoor clothing
shop in Appleby17 for years. The man said how his
shop closed due to online competition. He now
works his dogs and gets the same income (c. £20k
p.a.) as he had when he was running the shop as he
now has no overheads. The ex-shopkeeper claimed
that without his income from working his dogs on
shoots, he would either have to take a job in a
supermarket or move for work . The chartered
surveyor then observed,
“if you think about it, golf gives nothing to the
community. You go to the course, play a round,
drink in the bar and go home. It doesn’t involv<