Social, environmental and animal welfare organisations often watch each other’s progress with satisfaction but only occasionally work together. However, when we started to explore the idea of a coalition aiming to reform Scotland’s grouse moors there was no hesitation.
The League Against Cruel Sports Scotland
“Every year hundreds of thousands of grouse are shot for the amusement of very few. Grouse moors just don’t work for Scotland, or its wildlife, and the Revive coalition is how we’re going to set things straight.”
“Intensely managed driven grouse moors cause too much cruelty to our wildlife. Whether by snares, traps or shooting, tens of thousands of animals are killed to keep the population of red grouse artificially high. Scotland needs Revive.”
“Scotland is a land rich with natural resources which can be used to improve the lives of people all over the country – but not if almost a fifth of the country is kept as a wasteland populated only by rich men with guns and the little birds they shoot for fun”
Raptor Persecution UK
“It’s intolerable that protected birds of prey are still illegally killed on Scottish grouse moors – the Revive coalition will help bring that to an end.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland
“Regular burning on grouse moors mean that our uplands are releasing carbon instead of capturing it. The Revive coalition will help us address climate change.”
Scotland’s Grouse Moors: Background
Heather moorlands that are sometimes regarded as an iconic part of the Scottish landscape are, in reality, highly modified habitats managed to encourage high populations of one species, red grouse, so they can be killed for fun in the course of recreational shooting.
Mass outdoor medication
To try to encourage a consistently high population density of grouse available to kill, one of the intensification methods adopted since the 1980s has been the use of outdoor medication on a massive scale to reduce the incidence of parasitic worm and thus ‘override’ the red grouse’s natural and cyclical ‘boom and bust’ population crashes.
Grouse are killed with shotguns using lead shot. Lead is a highly toxic metal that occurs naturally but has been widely distributed by human activity. It is known to pose significant threat to human health and wildlife health.
Killing protected birds of prey
Even today, birds of prey continue to be persecuted on some driven grouse moors to such an extent it is causing population-level effects on iconic species such as golden eagles, hen harriers, red kites and peregrines. The level of criminality, which, we believe, fits the definition of organised serious crime, is unacceptable and is out of control.
Tracks, roads and fencing
Off-road constructed vehicle tracks (often referred to as ‘hilltracks’) can ease access for land management purposes but can also have major visual and environmental impacts, particularly on the wilder landscapes for which Scotland is so highly-regarded.
Almost a fifth of Scotland has been made into a grouse moor. Estimates vary from 12% to over 18% but nobody really knows because there is not enough meaningful data on what land is used for.
Scotland’s vital peat reserves are under constant threat from the damage caused by increasingly intensive muir burning on Scotland’s grouse moors adding to the risk of climate chaos in the future.
Snaring & Trapping
The killing of wildlife on driven grouse moors is a relentless, year-round slaughter, carried out to ensure high stocks of red grouse are available for recreational shooting.