Letter: Battles of the grouse moor

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article on the start of the grouse-shooting season ("A lovely morning, but not for everyone", 12 August) failed to mention the importance of grouse shooting for heather moorland and the wildlife that is supports.

The uplands and heather moorland in particular provide one of the best- managed wildlife habitats, when managed for shooting. Such moors have more diverse flora and fauna than those that are unmanaged, which are often overgrazed or become afforested. In Wales 28 out of 34 major grouse moors have been lost to forestry in the last decade.

Heather moorland supplies 33 bird species, while a typical bracken moor provides sustenance and shelter for only 15. Birds supported on heather moorland include merlin, golden plover and curlews. Populations of golden plover have been seen to increase directly in proportion to the standard of grouse management.

LESLEY FERGUSON

Head of Media Relations

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation

Wrexham, Clwyd

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