Shooting estates join long-term peatland recovery project
Conservation bodies and grouse shooting estates are joining forces to restore and improve the health of the UK’S precious peatland habitat.
The nation’s deep peat plays a major role in carbon storage and flood alleviation, as well as providing clean drinking water. Estates are helping with restoration efforts by developing new 25-year management plans with Natural England.
These long-term agreements will ensure that shooting and conservation interests will go hand in hand and will not only focus on creating viable red grouse populations for driven shooting, but also increase upland bird species, enhance vegetation and habitat and improve sustainable farming.
Wemmergill grouse moor in County Durham was the first estate to sign up to a 25-year agreement. DEFRA under-secretary Dr Thérèse Coffey MP visited the estate and commented: “The UK’S unique upland ecology must be safeguarded for future generations to enjoy. This approach is helping to achieve this by highlighting the various benefits that can be reaped from a variety of grouse moor management practices. I thank the estate, the Moorland Association and Natural England for their achievement and commend this approach to others.”
Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association, said: “These partnership agreements are exciting and encouraging because they highlight the significant common ground between the objectives of conservationists and grouse moor managers.
“The plans map out extensive and innovative work to provide tangible environmental and conservation benefits alongside viable grouse shooting operations.”
Dr Thérèse Coffey MP (centre) paid a visit to Wemmergill estate