Hope for grouse season

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According to Savills, despite disappointing grouse counts following the wettest summer on record, there are glimmers of hope for a sector which contributes in the region of £25 million to the Scottish economy each year.

Roddy Willis of Savills Brechin office said: “There will certainly be pain this season for the shooting sector and for the economy as a whole. The appalling summer weather has taken its toll on a new generation of grouse and many chicks have perished. However hen birds who were put off their nests in May following torrential rain have laid again, and late broods are apparent among this year’s counts. This may well allow for late shooting on some moors towards the end of September and into October

“In addition, grouse have an extraordinary ability to bounce back if allowed to breed. Thankfully, sensible decisions are now being made by estate owners to cancel or adjust shooting programmes. Bear in mind, if 100 brace are left alone to breed in pairs a further 400 brace could be added to the stock next year.”

Grouse reports vary from one grouse moor to the next throughout Scotland. Rory Galloway of Savills said: “In Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, parts of Inverness-shire and in Angus Glens, where there has been an impressive revival over the past five years, rumours of cancellations and reduced shooting programmes are now being substantiated.”