Grouse moors do not cause flooding, MPs told

Grouse buttThe British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC), in conjunction with the Moorland Association, has produced a briefing note explaining to MPs how grouse moor management can help prevent flooding. The publication of the document comes after suggestions in the mainstream media that grouse moors cause flooding.

In December opinion piece journalist George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian that “there’s little doubt that the management of grouse moors tends to increase the risk of flooding” and criticised the subsidies afforded to grouse moors, saying: “The government pays grouse moor owners to drain their glorified outdoor chicken runs.”

Other major news outlets, such as the Telegraph, reported Green Party leader Natalie Bennett’s claims that grouse moors are a “disaster” for downstream residents and her reiterated call to ban all grouse shooting.

“Contrary to Monbiot’s claims, good moorland management can help to prevent flooding,” says the briefing note, entitled ‘Grouse Moors and Flooding’. “Far from seeking to create drier moors, managers appreciate that on a grouse moor ‘wetter is better’.” The briefing note goes on to describe the important land management strategies used on grouse moors and their impact on the environment.

Moorland Association director Amanda Anderson said: “We are determined that MPs, journalists and the public at large understand what is happening on the ground and are not influenced by flawed and damaging claims which have increasingly been levelled at grouse moor management.”

Read the briefing note in full here.

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