Fishing The Fly Forum, based in Aberdeenshire,  Scotland

Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2019, 17:14:06 PM »
as far as I go you are preaching to the already converted, the muir burn is not for the benefit of the grouse or any other birds, harriers won't nest on open ground we lost our local merlins because of regular burning.not for Grouse but for sheep ,all these quangos (?) have their own agendas,I use Quango because these are the people that a government refers to when there are questions,I have been almost caught twice in a burn because not enough attention was paid, Derek Roxborough

Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2019, 12:43:30 PM »
piece on STV last night about Grouse shooting , showed a walk up shoot in Glen Clova, Derek Roxborough

James Laraway

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2019, 14:19:30 PM »
I see that the labour party care trying to get stuck into grouse shooting - mainly I suspect as it is viewed as a sport for the 'rich and famous'

the issue is, if you get rid of the shooting then what do you replace it with that will generate jobs ? The answer is not a lot as the ground is not fertile so it would be left abandoned.

Grouse shooting may not be everyone's cup of tea but it does help to manage the countryside ( a bit like farming does) and it employs people in areas where there are not many jobs.

the problem is that if the 'anti's' get rod of one 'blood sport' then they will just turn their attention to fishing, particulary salmon fishing as they view that as the 'preserve of the rich' also....

Ali Mcewan

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2019, 14:20:53 PM »
Derek,  if you’d be so kind as to go away and read the Langholm moor project papers that I mentioned in my first post, so you can gather some independent facts on the subject, rather than mid truths from clips you read or hear in the media.
Then you will appreciate how benifical driven grouse is to the harrier..
Fact is with out keepered moors, the harrier would be in real shit! Even with the tiny bad element within the keepering world.



Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2019, 17:02:20 PM »
what you are saying Ali is that I cant have an independent view?you mistake me, I am not against grouse shooting, only the driven shoot, that's the one that manicures the hills to make it easier to shoot grouse,so I understand that Jobs are Important , I live in a place where we lost the gillies jobs on Loch Maree ,due to fish farms,I was one of them. the loss of salmon fishing as you say just wont happen, think of the massive amount of gear Manufacture involved, will the Scot Gov support that, when the Majority of rivers are now C&R, It might be the way forward for Driven Grouse ? I do know the Keepers on the North York moors like the Harriers as they keep the Vermin down, it doesn't seem that way on the Scottish moors, when we lose Eagles and Harriers, with no real explanation, the Langholm area may be better managed or more fore thought used but it is one area with a more open view of the problem, can it be compared with the estates in the central highlands? Derek Roxborough

Duncan Inglis


Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2019, 21:16:50 PM »
Wow! So the fact that the grouse "industry" is worth £155 million,in tne papers the other day, means that they still want £4 million. So why? if they are putting that much into the economy, I wonder how much that eagle with the trap on its leg is worth( photo in todays paper) taken in Aberdeenshire,there is an Imbalance somewhere,and it is on manicured Grouse moors, life is too short :z13
Derek Roxborough

Bob Mitchell

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2019, 22:16:48 PM »
Harriers were only one of many other birds that bred on the moors. Same moors are now forestry or wind farms and the birds have gone. Have shot grouse in the butts and walked up and enjoyed both. Watching the beaters in the distance coming closer and the coveys rising and dropping down in front of the butts. Watching all the small birds flying about and the owls hunting is all part of the days pleasure.
To me stopping grouse shooting is nothing to do with the grouse but is to do mainly with the toffs.
Bob.

Duncan Inglis

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2019, 07:51:24 AM »
100% correct Bob but I don’t think you’ll ever change the mind of Derek or the likes of Packham and co, they have a totally different agenda. If they ever get their way the current moorland environment and wildlife it supports will be lost and by the time they realise their mistake it will be too late, it will be gone for ever.

Bob Mitchell

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2019, 08:59:37 AM »
Have posted in the past that I do not think that the committee members of the R,S.P.B. could tell the difference between a crow and a sea gull. Anyone that doubts that grouse moors are good for birds of prey and others should open there eyes and take a walk round a large wind farm. Heaps of young heather were the ground has been disturbed and the odd grouse. Very few if any hares or anything else.
Clay pigeon shooting is completely different from game shooting. Know a person that gets 96 out of a hundred clays most times. What is the point of that.
Until we all sit down together and look at the good of the wildlife we will all lose. There is no place in modern farming for wildlife so for the creatures that we want to see we will have to decide what is more important  food or wildlife. If we choose food then the grouse moors will be the only managed land that can support any wildlife and that includes harriers.
Bob.

Hamish Young

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2019, 09:57:25 AM »
Probably important we retain some perspective here;  there is really very little ground in the UK that has not been (or currently is) a managed / artifical / altered environment.
How our forebears created the country 'sporting environment' we live in is largely immaterial, but the traditions (particularly the sporting traditions) that were established then and continue now are divisive in many ways and are often seen as demonstrable evidence of a dated class system.
I digress - when it comes to 'Grouse' moors we are talking about a managed environment that has been carefully maintained in many ways to help the Grouse thrive. When we look at 'Salmon' rivers considerable infrastructure was put in place to improve pools, create pools, develop means to improve catches.
So the Grouse and Salmon have a common theme, people have tried to increase the populations and improve the potential of a shot or a catch. Where else have we done that.... Farming :? Yup. Reality is anywhere where homo sapiens want something they'll create it somehow then manage it.

So what was there before all this land husbandry :? Well that's probably the bigger question.
I don't subscribe to the somewhat utopian or naive view that nature will return things to the way they were. Nature can't, because we've f*cked with it too much, but it can adapt and create a new ecosystem. We can guess and we can let nature 'do its thing' but that doesn't mean what fills the void is indicative of what once was, all it means is that when you stop doing one thing another will take over - it may not be what you want or need, but it's what you're going to get becuase it's all that's going to happen.

You only have to look at our current PM to see the truth in that.

Is there a way forward :? I think you have to define what's desirable and the outcome folk want. I don't shoot these days and I've never been on a 'proper' grouse shoot, but I know plenty of folk who have and who make their living from supporting the sport.
We're not going to be in the position that the R.S.P.B and the sporting/landowning 'stakeholders' are ever going to sing from the same hymn sheet - their positions are too entrenched and so diametrically opposed that simply cannot happen.

Where do I sit on this :? I expect Chris Packham has a poster on his office wall of beavers, bears, wolves and Dodos - possibly some dinosaurs too.

H
“When tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2019, 12:22:50 PM »
100% correct Bob but I don’t think you’ll ever change the mind of Derek or the likes of Packham and co, they have a totally different agenda. If they ever get their way the current moorland environment and wildlife it supports will be lost and by the time they realise their mistake it will be too late, it will be gone for ever.
Don't equate me with Packham, how do you describe the current moorland environment?it's managed purely for the shooters ,with clear burn to open the ground for the beaters, some one said that the visitors come to see managed moorland  Eh?I worked for SNH for a while and the people I spoke to wanted wild unspoiled areas,I have no issue with hunting, only the way it's done. you're telling me that Current moorland management is beneficial to  ground nesting Raptors? one guy a couple of weeks back said they had hobbies on their land that must be a first for the area, nesting as they do in scattered woodland, I much prefer to see walk up shooting , rather that the mass slaughter of the driven shoot, I don't have a lot of time for the RSPB, we are each entitled to our own views, as it should be , have you  an opinion of the Golden eagle with a trap on its leg pictured in the papers yesterday and on the stv news the other night?
because if that's the way moors are managed then I'm against it
Derek Roxborough

James Laraway

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2019, 15:19:00 PM »
if you  have a think about it managed grouse moorland is no different from the southern English chalkstreams.

they were originally marshes, but over time and with much effort they were sculpted into 'artificial' rivers by diverting flows, building artificial banks etc.

Would we get rid of them now ? Er no.

As with everything there is a balance to be struck,

Grouse moors tend to be in areas where the is little opportunity to either do anything else with the land and there is also little employment. If we want to stop depopulation of areas there needs to be employment - and game-keepering and grouse shooting does just that. Sure, its not a huge number of jobs and they are not the best paid but they are jobs. Plus the money generated helps keep the estates financially afloat ( when I say afloat im sure almost all estates are loss making so it helps offset some of the losses).

I believe ( correct me if I am wrong) that grouse are not bred in captivity and released for shooting  - unlike pheasants for example.

So I would have thought that the 'natural' target for the 'antis' would be pheasant shoots where they do shoot hundreds of birds a day ( the birds being 'stocked' , 'stupid' and probably easy to shoot).

But no, they focus on grouse shooting . Why ? Probably because it is seem as the preserve of 'the rich' ( which it probably is to a large extent)

Walked up grouse is more within the reach of the 'working man' .

As for the golden eagle, IF its legs are caught in a trap then that is horrible - but of course you cant see that in the picture. The eagle may have picked up an animal which was already stuck in the trap.

On my way to some hill lochs  I have come across these 'gin-like' traps. They are usually within artificial tunnels to stop the raptors ( or sheep)  getting trapped. The traps I have seen are on farmland and NOT on grouse moors. Frankly im amazed they are still allowed as they do strike me as very cruel and there has to be a better way of controlling 'pests'

A lot of what is in the news now from the likes of Packham and the RSPB is purely to try and envoke public outrage. Any positive effects of managed moorland are conveniently forgotten. Not the way it should be, but its just the way of things these days sadly...



Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2019, 21:37:57 PM »
James the grouse moor owners say £155million goes into the economy, so why do they need £4million of a grant? . why the manicured moors? this isn't for the benefit of the grouse but for the convenience of the beaters, grouse have existed on un managed moors since Noah was a lad and they are still here, they co-existed with the Mountain hare, perhaps in those days they were immune to Tick born fever, who knows?, I know man has altered the land until very little , if any,truly wild  land exists, I know jobs are at a premium in rural areas, but how many are there on grouse moors, really? a couple of keepers and some summer time students?I didn't come down with the last shower of rain, the Eagle with the trap actually has the trap on it's leg ,I,m sorry if my attitude offends you , but I am entitled to my opinions , as are you ,but we must agree to disagree, life is too short, Derek Roxborough

Duncan Inglis

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2019, 22:27:45 PM »
Last comment from me on this
1. The £4m is in effect a farming subsidy paid for the herds of sheep run by the estates on their moor, read the article I posted.
2. Heather is burned to provide a variety of habitat that the grouse and other birds, animals etc that are on the moors, NOT for the benefit of beaters.
3. Walked up shooting, which as an aside I love, wouldn’t bring in enough income to support and help finance the estates.
4. Driven shooting of grouse is also used as a management tool. Numerous counts are carried out by the keepers not only to assess if there is a viable surplus but also to access the ratio of old to young grouse. Too many older birds is not good for  the overall health of the grouse stock.
5.  Proof of this management is the cancelling of any grouse shooting on a number of estates over the last couple of years. Nobody compensates the estates for the substantial loss of income.
6. The poor grouse numbers in recent years has predominantly been caused by poor weather in the spring, the beast from the east etc. The weather hit at the time the young grouse were too big to get shelter from the hen and too small to survive a week plus of cold wet weather.
7.  With both walkup and driven shoots on properly managed moors, samples of the shot birds are checked to assess the strongyle worm numbers carried by the birds. High worm counts ultimately lead to the death of the carriers, these carriers tend to be older birds. Unfortunately with high worm counts the worm is passed to the younger birds if not controlled.
8. With properly managed shooting with experienced guns who are properly briefed its possible to pick out the older grouse, thus helping the overall health of the grouse stock on the moor.

 




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