I am writing to ask you to take urgent action to stop wildlife destruction taking place via the 'sport' of driven grouse shooting.
Grouse shooting serves no ecological or societal purpose, other than target practice for the trigger happy, and in fact does great damage to the British countryside.
There has been a disastrous collapse in the population of mountain hares in recent years, and raptors are routinely (and illegally) killed to prevent them from killing grouse that hunters want to keep for shooting.
The management of British uplands for grouse shooting is also bad practice for tackling the environmental challenges we face. Moors are draining to lower land increasing the flood risk, and the burning of moors to prevent succession is stifling biodiversity and contributing to climate change.
Please consider raising the issue in government and call for an outright ban on grouse shooting to protect the British countryside.
Thank you for contacting me about driven grouse shooting.
Many people have strongly held views about this subject. I want to see a vibrant, working countryside enhanced by a diverse environment. Driven grouse shooting contributes to that goal, so I do not support a ban.
It is essential that our wildlife is properly protected, and anyone involved in game management must respect the country’s conservation laws, which are among the toughest in the world. That being said, shooting as a whole is worth about £2 billion a year to the economy, much of it in some of our remotest communities. It supports more than 70,000 full-time equivalent jobs, 1,520 relating directly to grouse shooting. Grouse shooting is also one of the main land uses in the uplands along with grazing and forestry.
It is important to recognise that healthy, active peatland provides numerous environmental benefits and ecosystem services including natural cover for grouse. I am pleased that the Government is working with moor owners to further improve management practices and peat condition, such as through Blanket Bog Restoration Projects.
It is also worth noting that all wild birds are protected from illegal killing by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Raptor persecution, including of hen harriers, is a national wildlife crime priority and there are strong penalties in place for offences committed against birds of prey.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With very best wishes,
The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP
Member of Parliament for Kingswood
Despite not being bound by the party whip or Conservative manifesto on this issue, Chris Skidmore still supports the stance with the worst environmental impact. Even given complete freedom to answer the question, Chris chooses the worst possible option for people and planet.