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Green Man

The Glorious12th

Grouse must be the most extensively farmed food in the U.K. but do you agree with devoting such large areas of land for such a small return in regards to bio diversity?
12Bore

What else would you do with the land? I suspect that it would be suitable for little other than sheep, which would cause huge damage to the ecology.
Green Man

Native Forests for Deer, birds, small mammals etc? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Forest
12Bore

What's the incentive for the landowner? More subsidies from Govt? At least with Grouse moors he gets to sell the shooting.
Duckhead

It would seem that Nicholas Soames thinks its a good thing.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/shooting/7939536/Why-the-Twelfth-is-glorious-for-conservation.html
vegplot

Lots of deer in Scotland.
Nick

Alast@ir wrote:
Native Forests for Deer, birds, small mammals etc? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Forest


Does the land not have other birds, small mammals etc already? Are they controlled to keep the grouse numbers up?
KILLITnGRILLIT

The (`keepered) moors are the best place to see nesting waders such as curlew etc. as the `keepers trap/shoot/snare various predators and many landowners are fencing off land to keep deer out to establish natural and crop woodland which when the fences are removed provide great habitat for them all.




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Archanejil

Many of the moorlands have been about for several thousand years although they are (largely) a man-made habitat, most being made between 18,000 and 6,000 years ago.

Having said that, they're a big part of our landscape and afforestation isn't always a good thing. Sure, you could plant things on it, change the habitat, but then you'd destroy a lot of habitats that birds and insects in particular would be drawn to. Is it a good thing to plant up areas that have been a certain way for 6,000 years? I really don't think so, to be honest.

There are quite a few species that are only or mainly found on moorlands and heath -- hen harriers and adders, for example, are both endangered species and found only on moorlands. Sure, they get trapped on the grouse managed moorlands, but they do persist there at least. They're not the only ones -- they're just the two that spring to mind, bearing in mind that moorlands can support some fairly rare plants and creatures. There are quite a lot of small mammals on moorlands already. As for deer... more deer are not necessarily a good thing. In fact, the impact of deer grazing on the woodlands in Scotland is of quite a bit of concern at the moment, so they're researching it. In sufficient numbers, deer have a habit of eating everything that's not tasty, which can actually end up being damaging to the forest in the long run.

As for whether or not it's worth a slight boost in biodiversity... There are several papers around that break down the economic worth attributable to particular areas. Many moorlands have blanket bogs and wetlands on them, which act as carbon stores which may be realeased if trees are planted on them. Plenty of drinking water is also held and filtered in these areas -- forests tend to use more water than bogs and wetlands. Bogs and wetlands just hold it. Moorlands are also fantastic places for wind-turbines (the really big ones) because very few folks live on moors to be bothered hugely by them. And they are very, very windy places. Windfarms can't be put by forests as the wind may be blocked and will become turbulent.

That's already a small essay -- but I figured as I wrote a rather large essay on this subject earlier this year, I'd throw in my 2p.
Bodger

Re: The Glorious12th

Alast@ir wrote:
Grouse must be the most extensively farmed food in the U.K. but do you agree with devoting such large areas of land for such a small return in regards to bio diversity?


A lot more than just the grouse benefit form the preservation of the moors, so the question in somewhat misleading. Grouse farming ? Laughing
dpack

as the last two posts ,my local moors have been "groused" since the 19th c .before that upland farming ,before that woodland

most moors are the result of farming (some are remnants of ice ace tundra /glacial edge )but the change from mixed to sheep and grouse has produced the heather moors we know now ,quite pretty but not very biodiverse compared to the wild (if somewhat damp)wood of 10000 yrs back
KILLITnGRILLIT

dpack wrote:
as the last two posts ,my local moors have been ......most moors are the result of farming (some are remnants of ice ace tundra /glacial edge )but the change from mixed to sheep and grouse has produced the heather moors we know now ,quite pretty but not very biodiverse compared to the wild (if somewhat damp)wood of 10000 yrs back


Not a dig, but how far do we need to go back, 1 000, 2 000, 10 000, 1million, 6 million, 1 billion.........

Times change and animals survive or decline due to one pressure or another, how about we just get on with what we have or all go back 10 000 years ?
dpack

i recon well managed plantation and "wild" woodland could be an improvement on heather and grasses on many areas used as grouse moors

and the shooters could hunt in the woods
Bodger

How many species would such a move endanger ? Harriers etc would bump into the trees. Laughing You're talking about the loss of a specialised habitat and the specialised species that depend on it.
Green Man

But wouldn't it be more 'natural' if it reverted back to its natural habitat?
vegplot

Alast@ir wrote:
But wouldn't it be more 'natural' if it reverted back to its natural habitat?


Why pick on the grouse moors? All of the UK, aside from some isolated areas, is unnatural.
sean

vegplot wrote:
Alast@ir wrote:
But wouldn't it be more 'natural' if it reverted back to its natural habitat?


Why pick on the grouse moors? All of the UK, aside from some isolated areas, is unnatural.


Indeed. Certainly in the case of The Commons which surround Torrington stopping managing them and leaving them to be 'natural' would lead to a loss of diversity.
Green Man

Because the return of a few hundred grouse off a few thousand acres seems the most extreme case to me, but I could be wrong.
Nick

We could level and reforest Liverpool. Much greater return.
12Bore

Laughing Laughing Laughing
vegplot

Nick wrote:
We could level and reforest Liverpool. Much greater return.


Wait 'til we've finished building the ditch first.
12Bore

vegplot wrote:
Nick wrote:
We could level and reforest Liverpool. Much greater return.


Wait 'til we've finished building the ditch first.

Just to the West of my house will fine. Wink
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