Here’s to a Glorious Twelfth
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