In the Herald today:
Grouse shooting: Scottish Government funded research ‘confirms its major socio-economic importance’. A “ground-breaking” new study has highlighted that grouse shooting delivers significant socio-economic benefits, affirming its place as a much-valued upland land use. Commissioned by the Scottish Government, the research – led by Scotland’s Rural College in conjunction with the James Hutton Institute – shows that grouse shooting sustains many jobs and delivers high levels of local and regional investment while receiving no public funding.
Like many of you, I suspect, several parts of me started to twitch when I read this. The reports are huge so I won’t be giving them any kind of going over but, suffice to say, neither ‘confirms its major socio-economic importance‘ nor ‘socio-economic benefits‘ appear anywhere in the text.
I have my doubts about this if only because of earlier research in 2019 saying something quite different:
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.
The report by JHI:
At least one reader will have their ear to the ground bird on this. Over to you.