Chris Packham to address Scottish Parliament on grouse moor reform

Press release from Revive, the coalition for grouse moor reform (10 December 2019).

Grouse moor reform campaigners celebrate a year of success on last day of grouse shooting season

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham to address Scottish Parliament event on behalf of Revive, the coalition for grouse moor reform.

Revive, the coalition for grouse moor reform is using the last day of the grouse shooting season to highlight a year of successes since its launch at the end of 2018. The campaign, which is supported by TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham, brings together several charities across social, environmental and animal welfare sectors, working together to reform Scotland’s grouse moors.

[Members of Revive with Andy Wightman MSP and Chris Packham at the coalition’s launch in Edinburgh, November 2018].

Chris Packham said:

Revive is a proper partnership between intelligent groups that has immediately delivered a vision for a better Scottish landscape, a better future for Scotland. Everyone is sick of the illegal killing, the mass legal killing, the slaughter of mountain hares, the burning, the draining, the poisoning… and Revive has coolly and calmly exposed and explained these horrors at the same time as developing a viable alternative to the misery of driven grouse shooting. A healthy, sustainable and productive landscape that will offer people and wildlife a harmonious future. All in one year! Top work I’d say!

The coalition was created to challenge the intensive management of land across vast swathes of Scotland’s uplands. Up to almost a fifth of Scotland’s entire land mass is managed for grouse shooting, and despite popular perception these moors are not natural. Much of this land is intensively managed to create a habitat suitable for one wild species, the red grouse, which is effectively farmed to be shot for entertainment.

Campaign Manager Max Wiszniewski said:

The Revive coalition was launched with one clear aim – significant reform of Scotland’s grouse moors to benefit our environment, our communities and our wildlife.

“Over the last twelve months we have been overwhelmed with the support for Revive with thousands of people joining our movement to campaign to take back ownership of Scotland’s uplands and end the circle of destruction that surrounds grouse moors.”

The coalition is calling for:

● The protection of peatland on Scotland’s moors, ending muirburn for grouse moor management

● A ban on the use of medicated grit

● A change to non-lead ammunition

● Regulation of off-road hill tracks

● Transformational land reform

● An end to the cruel killing of animals on grouse moors

● An end to driven grouse shooting

Over the last twelve months the campaign has notched up a number of successes including the creation of a catalogue of independent, evidence-based reports to support the campaign asks. These include The Case for Reforming Scotland’s Driven Grouse Moors, authored by Dr Ruth Tingay and Andy Wightman; Back to Life: Visions of Alternative Futures for Scotland’s Grouse Moors, by Common Weal, Untold Suffering by the League Against Cruel Sports and OneKind; and the most recent A Better Way, written by Dr Helen Armstrong. A Better Way explores the impact of grouse moors on carbon, wildlife and communities, illustrating how intensive management contributes to devastated, man-made landscapes void of trees and wildlife.

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland said:

This important report describes how a transition to a more wooded landscape would start to bring the land back into good health, providing benefits for both people and wildlife. From flood risk and landslip reduction to an increased diversity of wildlife, more productive soils and the protection of the vital store of carbon that is locked up in our peatlands, transforming heavily managed grouse moors into a rich diversity of wooded and open habitats has many benefits. For the sake of our wildlife, our rural communities and the global climate, change needs to come soon.”

As well as publishing a series of reports the coalition has hosted successful events including the first Revive conference in August which sold out in days, and has exceeded capacity at party political Fringe events. A campaign pledge supporting the coalition has attracted in excess of 14,000 signatures.

To mark the end of the grouse shooting season the coalition is holding a Garden Lobby reception in the Scottish Parliament which will be addressed by Chris Packham.

[Chris Packham has recently accused the Scottish Government of dragging its heels when it comes to tackling illegal raptor persecution on driven grouse moors. Photo by Ruth Tingay]

This evening’s event is hosted by Ruth Maguire MSP, who said:

I’m delighted to host this Revive event in our Scottish Parliament and in particular look forward to the address from respected naturalist Chris Packham. The Revive campaign has made a real impact and people right across Scotland from across the political spectrum are now seeing the potential environmental, public health, and economic benefits reform could bring.”

A report following a Scottish Government commission led by Professor Werritty on sustainable grouse moor management is expected to be published before the end of the year.


4 thoughts on “Chris Packham to address Scottish Parliament on grouse moor reform”

  1. There is also today an interesting and potentially important evidence session this morning at 0930 of the Environment committee looking at several issues with regard to wildlife crime. I think it is unfortunate that some of the suggestions I have put to the committee in support of my petition PE1705. One such is allowing the public authority, the police, who are already allowed to take action as an immediate response to events, be allowed to act as an immediate response on information or actions of members of the public reporting possible crimes ongoing. Another is requesting the Lord Advocate to instruct the Inspectorate for Prosecution in Scotland to issue a limited circulation report on the possible cases of vicarious liability which have been considered by the COPFS.

  2. The progress made by Revive and the partnership with other interested groups in one year has been remarkable. An event like this in the Scottish Parliament is an indicator of this progress.. My hope is that this progress continues in 2020; that the Scottish government is brave enough to take the actions outlined in the document written by Ruth and Andy. Congratulations to all concerned and enjoy the day.

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