Scottish gamekeepers have denounced a report produced by the campaign group Revive that advocates licensing or ending driven grouse shooting and replacing grouse moors with natural woodland and scrub.
Revive, which is associated with a number of anti-field sports groups, launched its campaign at an event attended by Chris Packham and Mark Avery, and concludes that “management as grouse moors will maintain a large area of Scotland’s land in an impoverished state”.
The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association was quick to respond to the report. It said: “Revive use neutral words like ‘reform’ but their real aim is to ban grouse shooting in Scotland, empty the glens and put gamekeepers and families on the dole.
“Their wish-lists were effectively discredited in Scottish government’s own commissioned report into grouse moor economics and alternative uses of moorland.
“We know what happens when grouse moors are abandoned. The Langholm Moor Demonstration Project report, published in October, highlighted net biodiversity gains when gamekeepers were employed.
“When grouse gamekeepers were lost on that moor, European protected open habitats degraded and red-listed and iconic birds crashed.
“If Revive have the answers, why not invest the anti-grouse shooting lobbying cash and go and live and work on land only suitable for rough grazing, to see if they can create 2,500 jobs and associated environmental benefits in those communities?”