The only grouse shoot to take place on public land has not had its lease renewed, following sustained pressure from anti shooting and animal rights groups. The lease had been held by the Bingley Moor Partnership (BMP) since 2008. BMP chairman Edward Bromet said that the partnership would have invested £800,000 had the lease been renewed, in addition to an estimated £1 million investment attracted from other interests. “They are turning away a great deal of private investment,” said Mr Bromet. “And this is all against a backdrop of the council having to make budget cuts of £30million and have had to cut back on basic services for the elderly and disabled.”
Shooting and countryside organisations roundly condemned the move. BASC regional officer Gareth Dockerty said, “It is devastating for the fragile biodiversity of the moor that councillors have had their heads turned by extremists who know so little of grouse moor management.
“The scientific evidence shows that the management of sensitive moorlands for grouse shooting has clear economic, social and environmental benefits.”
Meanwhile, in an open letter to Bradford Metropolitan District Council, the Countryside Alliance called upon the council to commit to maintaining levels of conservation funding and to monitor the wildlife on the moor. “We know from previous studies that the cessation of grouse moor management leads inevitably to a decline in curlew and other red listed species,” it said. “It is vital that BMDC commits to monitoring whether the same occurs following the decision to end grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor.”