Here’s to a Glo­ri­ous Twelfth

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

We should be in for a fruit­ful grouse sea­son. Although the weather in Fe­bru­ary, March and most of April re­mained rel­a­tively in­signif­i­cant, May was, crit­i­cally, fairly warm and dry. A com­par­a­tively lit­tle amount of snow fell in Scot­land and the pro­longed rain spells that pre­vent chicks dry­ing out were avoided. The good weather held un­til June with­out any cold snaps, re­sult­ing in pos­i­tive counts in north­ern eng­land and Scot­land.

‘For once, the weather has been rea­son­ably kind to a healthy hatch of wild young grouse this year,’ says Amanda An­der­son of the Moor­land As­so­ci­a­tion. ‘how­ever, Mother Na­ture is up to her usual tricks and has sent a blight of heather bee­tle to dev­as­tate thou­sands of acres of moor­land shrubs and deny vis­i­tors the glo­ri­ous pur­ple heather bloom. each shoot­ing day to har­vest the sur­plus grouse is a shot in the arm to ru­ral busi­nesses and ho­tels. We must hope that the greedy grubs don’t rob the grouse of all their food and there­fore the lo­cals of their liveli­hoods this sea­son. They have cer­tainly bred well and, in places, will be abun­dant, but noth­ing is cer­tain. That’s wild red grouse for you!’ T T-D

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