New moorlands guardian hails the vital role of grouse shooting

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Grouse shooting is the lynchpin of efforts to protect the nation’s under-threat moorlands, the new leader of the Moorland Association has claimed.

Amanda Anderson, 42, of Austwick in the Yorkshire Dales, has taken on the newly created role of director at The Moorland Association (MA) which works to protect more than 850,000 acres of heather moorland and looks after the interests of the £67m English grouse shooting industry.

Mrs Anderson said: “These are challenging times, not just for our organisation, but the countryside as a whole. I fervently believe that careful management of heather moorlands, with grouse shooting as the lynchpin, can produce the best benefits for wildlife, landscape and local economies.”

Britain has 75 per cent of the world’s resource of open heather moorland but over the past century areas of heather have been lost through over-grazing, afforestation and bracken encroachment. As a habitat, moorlands support a rich variety of species and rare vegetation and the MA works with its members, government departments and agencies to help conserve them.

Moorland management is supported in large part by investment from private landowners with the proceeds from grouse shooting.