7.3 Grouse Moor Management

See Additional information No. 9 – Grouse Moor Management

Key Issues:

Objectives:

  • Increase the amount of managed heather to provide a mosaic of different ages to provide: food, nesting areas and shelter for grouse and a range of moorland bird species.

Style of Burning:

  • Strip burning is usually carried out – strips are about 50m wide and can run for several hundred metres.

Frequency:

  • The period between management will be determined by the rate of growth of the heather, which in turn will be influenced by its location.

Risks:

  • There is always a risk of a fire escaping, but with skill and modern firefighting equipment the risk is reduced to a low level.

Benefits:

  • The burning or cutting of vegetation carried out for grouse to increase structural diversity is of benefit for all bird and animal (wild and domestic) species on the moor by increasing the amount of young vegetation with a higher level of nutrients.

Special Considerations:

  • As a result of their experience and the availability of firefighting equipment, such as fire-foggers, gamekeepers can often continue burning safely, when others without these advantages have to stop.