Monday, 10 August 2009 12:00 AM
With the grouse shooting season beginning on 12th August, new research* published today highlights a growing public awareness of the benefits of grouse shooting and its role in protecting England's remote upland communities.
The survey carried out by the Countryside Alliance found that:
· Nine out of ten people (91%) agreed that grouse shooting provided the communities with economic, social or environmental benefits.
· Two thirds of respondents (65%) agreed that grouse shooting provided them with direct economic or social benefits.
· Nine out of ten people (87%) agreed that there would be a negative impact on the communities if grouse shooting stopped.
· Nine out of ten people (96%) valued the services provided by local businesses, the economical viability of which can be dependent on the revenue generated by shooting parties.
· Eight out of ten people (83%) agreed that tourists were attracted to the area thanks to the beauty of the landscape and increased wildlife that are a direct result of moorland management associated with grouse shooting.
Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: "The environmental benefits of grouse shooting are well documented but until now its role as the economic engine for many remote communities has been less well known. This survey clearly shows that grouse shooting is vital to the local employment, businesses and people of England's uplands.
"Shooting is worth £1.6 billion to the UK rural economy and supports 70,000 jobs. We are delighted that it is beginning to get the public recognition it deserves because shooting provides genuine benefits to the countryside and rural communities everywhere."
*Notes to Editor - Fieldwork was conducted by the Countryside Alliance in May / June 2009. Results from interviews and questionnaires delivered to all 108 households in the parishes of Blanchland and Hunstanworth on the Durham / Northumberland border. Data available on request.
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