If driven grouse shooting had never existed we would never invent it now – and that is the test of whether it should remain as a blot on the landscape. It shouldn’t. Just because it has been that blot for c150 years doesn’t mean it should remain as such any longer. This blog has played a significant part in bringing closer the demise of an environmentally damaging activity which is, in essence, a niche hobby of shooting birds for fun.
Society experiences massive losses of biodiversity, carbon capture, water quality and flood relief just so that a few can pay to shoot for pleasure. It is the European Super League of fieldsports but it is the status quo and so it takes time to get rid of it. Driven grouse shooting has dewilded much of our uplands and large areas of our National Parks, if you wanted to invent a joke land use that went against the grain of all current thinking on animal welfare, rewilding, ecosystem services, protected areas and climate change then you would invent the package of damage that is driven grouse shooting. And then you’d make sure that the people who support it misrepresent the evidence and look like the remnants of the Victorian era. Oh yes, and you get them to break the law, killing protected wildlife, left, right and centre in plain view of the public too.
The campaign to get rid of driven grouse shooting has a life of its own now. That campaign really started in the pages of this blog with the suggestion that reform was not enough, and that a complete ban was what is required. The pebble thrown into the pond created ripples that grew and grew, and are still growing and spread all the time. Driven grouse shooting is doomed, its proponents know that and I hear that the brighter ones are saying so in private. Driven grouse shooting has allowed itself, almost chosen, to drive down a cul-de-sac that is also a one way street. There is no way out except to abandon the vehicle completely.
This campaign is not over, and it hasn’t been just me and just this blog – that much will be abundantly clear to regular readers here. But it takes a crank to start a revolution and this blog gave the campaign to removes the ills of driven grouse shooting from our hills its first few turns.
This blog has done a few other things too, but it did do that.
Get email notifications of new blog posts