Shortage of grouse means Yorkshire Dales estates choosing not to shoot

Photo: Guy Carpenter.

A shortage of grouse means some Yorkshire Dales estates will not shoot this year.

Today is the start of the grouse shooting season, with shooting allowed until December 10.

However, the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group, which represents shoots in the areas, said many estates across the Dales had chosen not to shoot again this year as they did not have a surplus of birds.

Sonya Wiggins, spokesperson for the group, said: “Many factors have contributed to this, firstly back in spring we had a long dry spell, the fifth driest on record for the UK, which always affects the success rate of the chicks as water is sparse as too is the insect life that the young chicks depend on to survive.

“Secondly, many moors across the whole of the north of England have once again been badly affected by heather beetle.

“The larvae, and to a lesser extent the adult beetles, feed on the leaves of heather plants, stripping them bare and damaging the health of the heather, which again the chicks rely on.”

The group said some estates had cancelled August dates yet plan to have a few small days during September from some late broods, and a few of our estates were able to shoot today, which they said would bring a much needed boost into our local economy.

“All the grouse from today will be straight to dinner table. Some shoots will have them for lunch, some get taken to the local restaurants, some will go straight to London and some will even be sent abroad,” they added.

Adrian Thornton-Berry, from Swinithwaite-based Farmoor Services, which works with moorland estates, said the shortage was the worst he had ever known in 30 years in the industry.

“There would normally be ten to 12 shoots out today but I know of just four taking place.”

He said it was fortunate that accommodation providers in the area which would normally be used by shooting parties were still bust thanks to the influx of visitors who would normally have taken foreign holiday at this time of year.


    • Hope your a vegetarian, I would sooner live on the Moor than in a cage or shed all my life. If it wasn’t for the shooting there would be very little moorland and no grouse, snipe, lapwings, curlew, golden plovers ect.

  1. Excellent news that our lovely birds won’t be slaughtered this year! So conditions are poor this year? You reap what you sow!

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