Around 250 people from across Scotland travelled to attend the first ever Revive conference - Wildlife, Land reform and Environment - at the beginning of August.
THE PACKED out event featured 20 (gender balanced) speakers from across the political spectrum including MSPs, Councillors, members of the public, the Revive coalition directors and spokespeople for land reform, wildlife and the environment - adding to the significantly growing momentum of the campaign.
Above: watch attendee's views on Revive and the conference
Split into 4 sections, the day covered the circle of destruction that grouse moors are responsible for - educating and shocking but offering hope to members of the public in attendance that real change is possible.
Youth climate striker, activist and Revive supporter Holly Gillibrand started the day with a passionate speech about her hopes and aspirations to tackle the climate emergency meaningfully and how reviving our uplands can help us achieve that goal. This is a primary goal for Revive and the conference showed the demand for tackling this head on.
This was then followed by a video address from renowned naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham who welcomed the audience, explained his excitement about Revive and said that it's now 'time to speak out' as our people, our wildlife and environment need it more than ever.
The first panel session focused on wildlife crime and birds of prey, the issue which has largely carried the torch for grouse moor reform over the years, the panel also offered a bridge to animal welfare issues - of which there are many because of the untold thousands of snares and traps that litter the countryside, and horrendous animal cruelty on grouse moors. Dr Ruth Tingay presented on the huge extent of golden eagle persecution while Bob Elliot discussed mountain hares and the legal cruelty which needs to end.
The second panel session chaired by Labour's Shadow minister for Environment and Climate Change saw a presentation on the unregulated hill tracks which scar Scotland's countryside, by Helen Todd and Beryl Leatherland, followed by a presentation by Dr Richard Dixon Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland on the huge potential for grouse moor reform to protect peat and benefit the environment, followed by an informative discussion on this potential.
It was revealed that about half the audience lived next to or close to grouse moors and the session Living with it Locally focused on the many shocking stories from the panel and members of the public in the audience about the 'feudal culture' in grouse moor areas and stories of serious intimidation - an eye opener - and the conference offered much needed solidarity to those in attendance.
If you have experienced intimidation, live near grouse moors and have a story to tell you can get in touch with us here
The final session of the day Back to Life was an inspiration session on how reviving the moors could unlock our land's potential, fight climate change and benefit our people too - it's now climate emergency and a matter of survival which we need to take seriously. By reforming the black hole/eco-dessert/barren grouse moors which contribute barely nothing to the economy we can give the future a fighting chance. The panel also suggested campaigners can get more creative with our approach and perhaps a 'bit naughtier'.
Director of League Against Cruel Sports Scotland closed the conference and spoke of the success the movement has achieved in such a short space of time and our huge ambition going forward - over 13,000 of you have joined the movement to reform and signed the pledge already - and Robbie suggested we all promote it and make our movement unstoppable.
Revive would like to thank everyone who attended and took part in the day - it looks like we'll need a much bigger venue for next year where you can hopefully make it along!
See more photos of the day below: