MANY estates will be empty today, the Glorious Twelfth, traditionally the start of grouse shooting, because owners are anxious to conserve stocks.
'It looks like being a glorious 30th rather than a glorious 12th,' said Robin Peel, spokesman for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation. He said that in many areas the season was two weeks late because poor spring weather had delayed second broods.
Many owners have had a good year but the previous year was so poor and stocks so depleted that they want to keep many of this year's young birds for breeding.
Grouse have bred well in Perthshire and south-west Scotland this year but in Invernesshire counts are only average.
The Trough of Bowland and the Yorkshire Dales have had counts 50 to 60 per cent up on 1993. North-east England, Derbyshire and the Pennines have had a poor season.Reuse content