British Moorlands


August 13, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Grouse shooting has been severely restricted due to low numbers of young but some late broods have improved the outlook for winter stocks as breeding pairs start to move onto their territories in October.   The problem seems related to poor nutrition (due to drought affecting the food chain) and the few shot birds were in poor condition, whether old or young

Only one day of heather burning has been possible so far but cutting has been been done with grit placement too from bags carried on the tractor cutter.Grouse shooting prospects are looking poor for the whole of Britain this year.   The cold late winter restricted food plants needed for egg production, then the long spell of hot dry weather probably had several adverse effects on this sub-Arctic species.


Much shooting has been cancelled but the high number of pairs without young can offer the chance to cull some of these old birds to open up their breeding territories to younger more fertile stock next Spring.  A popular way of doing this is by careful shooting over pointing dogs, an excellent way to enjoy a day on the moor with a small bag.

Where July counts recorded a lack of adults which had featured in Spring counts this can indicate that the “missing” pairs are still around but keeping out of the way with late very young broods which can suddenly appear when the chicks are big enough to fly.   So don’t give up all hope just yet as the Autumn could look better.

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British Moorlands