Thursday, 12 August 2010

Game Estate Owners Seek Out State Benefits

I see that the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust have released their latest report into the economic impact of the activity in Scotland. Their press release and subsequent statements highlight 'grave concerns that without help from the government the industry would not remain economically viable'.

Can I hear cheering from those of us that would like to see a healthy population of Hen Harrier and an end to the current persecution war waged by some in the industry? I thought I should take a closer look to see what ails the industry so and just how desperate their straits are.

It was only after reading the report that I realised that the press release was spun in what appears to be a blatant attempt to con a few quid out of the Scottish Government. Here are a few facts from their report that they chose not to use when highlighting their grave concerns.

Grouse revenues increased markedly in 2009 compared with the average over the previous five years.

Total estate revenues on grouse shooting up from £1.6m to £2.7m.

Shooting Fees up between 32.6% - 34.3%, some 8% above the Retail Price Index (RPI)

Of course the GWCT and it's supporters will be keen to highlight how much good work they do on the moors, how much they put into maintaining the environment and contribute to the conservation of our unique uplands. Just in case you're wondering just how much that is, one more fact from the study.

Average Spend by Estates on non-shooting/moorland environment £11,138 per annum. Impressed? No neither was I.


Andrew Kinghorn said...

They do a great work! I mean the amount of Meadows Pipits and Red Grouse on shooting estate moors are sky high! Bit of a lack of Merlin, Peregrine, Kestrel, Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Red Kite, Golden, and White-tailed Eagle but that must just be a coincidence that the birds avoid the shooting estates.

Ridiculous, I had no idea just how little estates spend to help the environment. Interesting post Alan certainly opened my eyes about their claims of helping the environment so.

Anonymous said...

Andrew - take a look here:

What's needed is a tough approach - licensing for shoots, with an independent inspectorate; removal of license to hold shoots for 1-2 years where breaches of the Wildlife & Countryside Act occur, and confiscation of estates for serious breaches. Fund it all by adding excise duty to guns and ammunition.