May 22 Letters: Why grouse moors are vital for preserving our landscapes

Have your say

From: Amanda Anderson, Director, The Moorland Association, Austwick, Lancaster.

I AM compelled to correct the misconceptions and inaccuracies in Dr Toni Shephard’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, May 13). Not only does she claim the Foundation for Common Land’s report on the future of some our most precious and beautiful high ground is one-sided, she fails to appreciate the benefits of managing moorland for wild red grouse.

The two Yorkshire cases cited were about respect and win-win outcomes for all those living and working on this exceptionally complex and fragile land.

The report revealed strong evidence of the benefits of grouse shooting. Moorland Association (MA) members spend £52.5m a year on the conservation and protection of iconic, rarer than rainforest, heather moorland.

The benefits to farmers and the millions who love these places, and their wildlife, are widespread. Dr Shephard is quite wrong to state many moorland species are “not top conservation priorities”. In fact, a number of red and amber listed birds that are in free-fall in the rest of the country are doing well where game keepers are looking after the land. These include: curlew; lapwing; ring ouzel and black grouse. Merlin, short-eared owls and peregrines can all be seen hunting on the very moors where hen harriers have attempted to make a comeback.

They are only managing to nest where our careful management and predator control for grouse is carried out and not in other habitat deemed “suitable”. MA is actively backing the hen harrier recovery plan and brood management scheme.

From: Mrs A Pearson, Snainton, Scarborough.

IN response to the letter from Christine McDade (The Yorkshire Post, May 13) concerning oil seed rape pollen, rape pollen is relatively large, sticky and heavy and moved by insects, being extremely beneficial to bees. Grass and tree pollen is smaller and lighter and is disseminated by wind, travelling much greater distances. Allergic reaction to rape pollen is extremely rare but the perception is greater than the reality. Most allergic reaction is caused by tree pollens. Does the writer suggest that we cut down all the trees?

From: H Marjorie Gill, Menston.

REGARDING the outcry against badger culls, it surprises me that the National Farmers’ Union and Ministers don’t make it clear that to suffer from TB is a horrible state to be in, either for a wild animal or a human.