Conservation charity director welcomes National Trust ban on grouse shooting on land near Sheffield

A director of conservation charity has welcomed a decision by the National Trust to ban grouse shooting across 1,600 acres of it’s land in the Peak District.

People have been calling for this ban over fears for how the land on Park Hall estate off Snake Pass near Sheffield, is managed and the negative impact it has on the environment.

The National Trust say they will not renew the shooting lease due to “concerns over management techniques”.

Luke Steele, Executive Director of Wild Moors, said: “It is a decision we strongly welcome because if we look at the way land is managed for grouse shooting, there is environmental damage ranging from decreasing biodiversity to contributing to climate change and damaging habitats.”

Wild Moors is an organisation that hope to help restore moorlands that are damaged by grouse shooting. 

Mr Steele said: “There’s huge growing awareness both generally and within the National Trust of needing to change the way the land is managed.”

A spokesperson for the National Trust said: “The National Trust regularly reviews leases and, on this occasion, chose not to renew the shooting lease at Park Hall in Derbyshire.”

“We had concerns over the management techniques used which did not align with our ambition to improve the moor for nature and to address climate change. Our priority is to work with our farming tenant to restore nature and tackle the climate crisis.”

The red grouse are bred to be shot. It is legal to shoot them for a limited period of time every year from the August 12 to December 10. This is outside of their breeding season. 

The Peak District National Park Authority has banned grouse shooting on it’s land since 1981 although it owns less than 5% of land in the National Park.  The National Trust is the biggest landowner in the Peak District National Park, owning 12% of the land. 

Mr Steele added: “The National Trust has a huge responsibility and potential to restore land so it stores more carbon to help tackle climate change.

“If we look at the response to the National Trust’s decision it is widely celebrated across Sheffield and South Yorkshire and a massive step forward in terms of restoring the land in the Peak District for nature, for climate and for people.”

It is not just the grouse which are killed. The sport also results in predators of the grouse, such as foxes, stoats and weasels, being trapped or shot.

Wild Moors hope that the National Trust will ban grouse shooting on all of their land.

Written by Sofia Ali

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