Peaceful Twelfth for grouse

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The Independent Online
Grouse shooters are to be banned from one of Britain's most famous beauty spots, Ilkley Moor. Bradford City Council, which owns six square miles of the upland heath, decided yesterday that there would be no Glorious Twelfth there this August or on any future one.

The Labour-controlled council has decided to withdraw its licence from a local shooting syndicate so the public can roam there throughout the peak holiday month. Until now, ramblers have been banned during the six to 10 days of the shooting season.

Jack Wormersley, chairman of the sub-committee which took the decision, said: ``We'd rather everyone had the chance to look at all of the wildlife, including the grouse, at that time of year instead of just the shooters killing them.'' He said Ilkley Moor, 1,000ft up and eight miles from central Bradford, would continue to be carefully managed to encourage heather growth and wildlife, including grouse and the birds of prey which hunt them. The moors would be closed for several weeks each year during the most important nesting periods.

Bradford will lose the pounds 8,000 a year which the shooters pay for their licence. But Mr Wormersley said the council had already succeeded in winning larger grants as a result of the National Lottery and from the European Union for its management of the moor.

Ilkley Moor has been council owned for 100 years. However, much of the surrounding heather is privately owned and shooting will continue there.