BUOYANT prospects for the grouse shooting season will see millions injected into the rural economy, it is claimed today.
The Moorland Association said management of 149 grouse moors in England and Wales was a linchpin of the upland economy.
In an analysis, it calculated they had generated in excess of £67m in 2010. More than £50m was spent by moor owners on year-round management of some of the country’s most treasured landscapes and wildlife, while businesses including game dealers, hotels and equipment suppliers received more than £15m. The industry also supported 1,500 full-time jobs.
About a third of grouse moors are in the region in the Yorkshire Dales, Nidderdale, North York Moors and south Pennines.
The shooting season begins on Friday and experts are predicting it will generate more cash.
Association chairman Edward Bromet said most moors did not generate a profit but their management had many benefits.
He said: “Famous for their wildlife and beauty, grouse moors are much less well known for their vital role in providing a wide range of free natural services, for example, clean water, flood protection, carbon storage, places for quiet recreation and the production of unique foods such as wild red grouse, heather fed lamb and heather honey.”
Environment Minister Richard Benyon said: “The important activities carried out by moorland owners are of benefit to the whole country, making a significant contribution to the rural economy and looking after some of our most precious habitats.”
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