More and more, we’re seeing local residents and moorland communities finding courage and speaking out against the grouse shooting culture and its associated criminality that dominates and damages their daily lives.
We’ve heard from local communities in the Yorkshire Dales National Park (see here and here), from a community in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (see here), from a local community in the North York Moors National Park (here), and from the community at Leadhills in South Lanarkshire (here).
Here’s another example, this time from a punk band (The Lounge Society) created by teenagers who’ve grown up in West Yorkshire’s Pennine towns.
[Photo by Piran Aston]
The Lounge Society have a single out called Burn the Heather and according to an interview they’ve done with the NME ‘it takes aim at local landowners’ pre-grouse shooting ritual of burning the moor-top heather, with deerstalkers, wellies and tweed jackets in the accompanying video’.
NME asked guitarist Herbie May, ‘How did Burn the Heather come to be and what was the story behind that?’
Here’s his response:
“There’s a continuing trend where a lot of wealthy local landowners will burn a lot of land for the sake of a bloodsport essentially to shoot grouse and other birds. That contributes to flooding and it’s generally very unpleasant and it can give rural areas a bit of a bad name and we wanted to express how ugly that is. It was just a local teenagers perspective on that lyrically. The groove is quite important to the track itself and to a lot of our music. We really set out to make people dance and make you move while getting across what we wanted to say about local issues and if that has any connection to issues which affect small towns everywhere“.
NME: I guess it smartly loops it into the wider political dialogue right now in many ways?
Herbie May: “It is something that has gone on in the Tory party, over lockdown there were certain rules which seemed to specifically protect fox hunting. For a time you were allowed to go fox hunting but you weren’t able to play football in the park with your mates, so it does apply in other areas albeit in slightly different physical manifestations. The idea that there’s a class of people that have that much desire to kill living animals to the extent of making such brazen acts like that, it is shocking“.
To read the full NME interview please click here
UPDATE 21st February 2021: There’s more commentary about this video and the shooting industry’s irrational, hysterical meltdown about it here