The Glorious Twelfth: Everything you need to know about the first day of grouse shooting season

August 12 marks the Glorious Twelfth day - here is everything you need to know.

Grouse shooter on Glorious Twelfth day. (Pic credit: Danny Lawson / PA)

Today (August 12) marks the first day of grouse shooting season, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth.

What is it?

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It is one of the busiest days in the shooting season and the date itself dates back to 1831 when the Game Act legislation passed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, not all game have the same start to their open seasons as most start on September 1, while woodcock and pheasant shooting season starts on October 1.

English law does not allow game bird shooting on a Sunday.

How long does it last for?

The season is active from August 12 to December 10 on mainland Great Britain and from August 12 to November 30 in Northern Ireland.

During this period game shooters from all over the world head over to the moors of Scotland and north of England to take part.

Is it legal?

Grouse shooting for sport has been ruled as a legitimate activity by the UK government, however, there has been some backlash from environmentalist groups and animal rights activists who have petitioned for the pastime to be banned.

The Scottish government has also spoken out against it, claiming that it may potentially have negative effects on the environment and is due to implement a system to control grouse shooting.

Extinction Rebellion, an environmental protest group, is taking a stand against grouse shooting by putting a big ‘don’t shoot’ sign in the hills close to Dundee Airport.

However, supporters of the sport believe it is an economical benefit worth millions and has introduced 2,640 jobs in Scotland.