Werritty Review: a surprising response from GWCT

Further to Thursday’s long-awaited publication of the Werritty Review on grouse moor management (here), the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has published a response.

Publication of Werritty Review – statement from GWCT Scotland

Commenting today on the publication of Grouse Moor Management Review Group – Report to the Scottish Government, Bruce Russell, Director Scotland, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, said:

We have been anticipating the publication of the independent Werritty Review of Grouse Moor Management for some time and weighing up the potential implications of its possible recommendations.

It would be wrong for us to respond to Professor Werritty’s report on the outcome of the review in any detail now than to say that we will be discussing its recommendations with our members, colleagues and other organisations, and with those who will be most affected should its proposals go forward. We will be keen to impress ministers, Government, their officials and advisers of our response to Professor Werritty’s report and the science that supports it.

There remains a great deal to absorb and a lot of discussion to take place over the next few weeks. Until Scottish Government decides what position it will take on the report and what happens after that, GWCT will be fully engaged at all levels.

Please note the GWCT will NOT be doing any follow-up interviews.


For a charity with an ongoing reputation for compulsive cherry-picking disorder this missed opportunity to spin the report’s findings and instead announce a virtual vow of public silence is surprising.

We had expected to see something like this, below, crafted from the words in Prof Werritty’s preface but twisted and contorted to present a grotesque distortion of the truth:

I accepted an invitation for grouse shooting with Ian Newton. Raptors proved problematic and criminal activity was an easy resolution which I especially enjoyed. Grouse shooting practitioners are transparent and accountable and raptor-killing licensing on or near grouse shooting estates should immediately be introduced‘.

See how easy it is?

It’s perhaps telling that the GWCT’s official (and some would say sensible) response was attributed to Bruce Russell, the new Director of GWCT Scotland, and not to the usual suspect, the GWCT’s chief spin doctor Andrew Gilruth.

6 thoughts on “Werritty Review: a surprising response from GWCT”

  1. Andrew Gilruth is an embarrassment xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx and when he represents a professional organisation….well then it really isn’t professional. It will be interesting to see what Bruce Russell says to his own side, not just publicly, but I suspect he might be telling it to get its act together at long last. Yes rather a shock to get something sensible from pretty much any huntin, fishin, shootin organisation the Wild Trout Trust is about the only one I have time for, the rest are woeful.

  2. Maybe they believe that a more telling blow can be delivered at a later date in the name of science if they keep their powder dry in the short term. Once the outrage has been spent and the birder’s hand shown, so to speak, they will be better placed to to target any misinformation they may choose to provide or simply muddy the water in the weakest part of the landowners defence.

  3. The GWCT will be very busy priming all their members, employees, supporters and suppliers into private lobbying of the SNP. They will be devising a ‘solution’ which best suits them, and formulating the necessary arguments to sustain their business. A deal will be done behind closed doors.

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