New Scottish Government-funded research confirms major socio-economic importance of grouse shooting

A groundbreaking new study has highlighted that grouse shooting delivers significant socio-economic benefits, affirming its place as a much-valued upland land use.

Commissioned by the Scottish Government, the research shows that grouse shooting sustains many jobs and delivers high levels of local and regional investment while receiving no public funding.

The research has been published prior to the Scottish Government’s response to the independent review on grouse moor management known as the Werritty Review.

BASC Scotland Director, Dr Colin Shedden, said: “This research confirms that grouse shooting, especially driven shooting, makes an enormous socio-economic contribution across the uplands of Scotland. Despite running at a net loss, driven grouse shooting enterprises boost employment and drive rural business.

“The research also highlights how sporting enterprises are entirely self-sustaining. While conservation enterprises rely on public funding for 79% of their revenue, grouse shooting and deer stalking enterprises require no direct public funding whatsoever. The study affirms that an outstanding array of benefits are delivered on grouse moors at no expense to the public purse.

“The Scottish Government must consider the findings of this research when it formally responds to the recommendations of the independent review into grouse moor management later this year. The contribution made by grouse shooting is integral to rural Scotland, and every effort must be made to safeguard the lifeline it provides to upland communities.”

Note to the Editors:
1. This research pulls together the findings of four individual studies which assess the socio-economic and biodiversity impacts of grouse shooting and investigate the employment rights of gamekeepers.
2. The study compared driven grouse shooting and walked-up grouse shooting with the following land uses: woodland creation; conservation; deer stalking; hill sheep farming; renewables (hydro); and renewables (wind).
3. The below table from the study shows a breakdown of the socio-economic indicators by land use.
4. Dr Colin Shedden, BASC Scotland Director, was a member of the project steering group.