Between 12% and 18% of Scotland’s total land area is currently reserved for grouse moors. Despite this, the economics of such activity has been shown to be significantly worse than any other reasonably conceivable economic activity.
Of all the possible uses of this land, grouse shooting is not only the least moral, it is by far the least economically effective. In fact, almost any other use will create more value and more jobs per hectare.
Back in the day, Common Weal did things like this. In 2019, with the Revive Coalition they produced: Back to Life: Visions for Alternative Futures for Scotland’s Grouse Moors. It settled the debate once and for all yet, only yesterday, the Herald published this letter:
Stubley appears to be a tennis coach yet seems ill-informed on rackets.
Common Weal presented some devastating numbers for the supporters of shooting. Neatly summarised for us by Bird Guides:
A new report has shown that, from an economic perspective, grouse shooting is the most ineffective use of Scottish land. The study, published on the final day of the Scottish grouse season, shows the bloodsport produced an annual gross value added (GVA) of just £30 per hectare.
The report – Back to Life – scrutinises a variety of other possible land uses, including agriculture, biomass, housing and solar power, and found all of them to produce far greater value. If the land was used for other purposes, horticulture would return the greatest GVA at £12,412/ha, followed by housing (£11,950) and solar power (£10,952).
Horticulture, which currently uses 0.26 per cent of Scotland’s land area, would create 7,370 jobs, generate £261 million for the economy and would need 3 ha to create one job. In stark contrast, the report said grouse shooting, on the current land use area of 1.5 million ha, created 2,640 jobs, had an annual economic impact of £32m and required 330 ha to create.
So, headline message
Horticulture 400 times more profitable than grouse shooting!
I know, clickbait.