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United Utilities announce they will stop grouse shooting on their land (1 Viewer)


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United Kingdom

Report from local paper.​

United Utilities signals end of grouse shooting on its land​

CUMBRIA'S water supply company has announced it will put a stop to grouse shooting on its land when the current leases come to an end.

United Utilities, the largest corporate landowner in England, will instead 'restore the company’s moors for nature, climate and people'.
Its grouse shooting leases currently cover the Forest of Bowland, the Goyt Valley, Longdendale Valley, and the west Pennines.
It is not currently clear when the shooting leases will expire.
A United Utilities spokesperson said: “We made the decision some time ago not to issue or renew any leases on a long term basis on our catchment land where we own the sporting rights.
“This followed a review into the management of the land we own to ensure the best possible outcomes for water quality and we have been communicating this with stakeholders.”
Grouse shooting is a field sport which involves the hunting of red grouse. It is seen by some as a rural tradition in the UK, but has also been criticised by conservationists for degrading upland environments.
Luke Steele, executive director of Wild Moors, a non-governmental and non-profit organisation campaigning 'to protect and restore nature', welcomed the announcement.
He said: “The world is fast moving in a direction where restoring land for nature, carbon capture and people is at the forefront of tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.
“As England’s largest corporate landowner, United Utilities has risen to the challenge of creating a wilder and more diverse future for the uplands, and we commend the company for its decision to end grouse shooting on its moors. We now urge other landowners to follow on.”
The decision was announced at United Utilities' annual general meeting on Friday, following a review of its position initiated in March.
Kerry McCarthy, Labour’s shadow minister for climate change, posted on Twitter: "Great news – so much better for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, water management, and local nature lovers (not to mention the birds!)"
That really is excellent news!

A bit of research shows that United Utilities own 9 moors across Lancashire and Derbyshire at Forest of Bowland, Longendale Valley, Goyt Valley, and the West Pennines. These will effect areas at Bowland, and near Burnley, Buxton, Glossop and Chorley. Licences will end between now and 2027.

The United Utilities more covers some 800 square miles. Though there are another 7 privately owned grouse moors in the Bowland area.
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