United Utilities, England’s largest corporate landowner, has announced a historic decision to end grouse shooting on its moorlands. The decision was made as part of the company’s commitment to restoring nature, tackling climate change, and promoting sustainable land use.
The water company owns and manages tens of thousands of hectares of land, including areas in Bowland, Burnley, Buxton, Glossop, and near Chorley. All this land will be restored for nature, climate, and people.
The executive director of strategy and regulation, Luke Steele, said that the decision was a breakthrough moment for the company. He stated that United Utilities had reviewed its position on grouse shooting and concluded that it was not compatible with its environmental and social responsibilities.
United Utilities will not issue or renew leases for grouse shooting on its moorlands, and it will work with conservation organisations to restore habitats and promote biodiversity. The company leases several locations for grouse shooting, including the Goyt Valley near Buxton and the Longdendale Valley near Glossop.
In a statement, United Utilities said that the decision to end grouse shooting was a significant change in its approach to land management. The company acknowledged that it had a responsibility to protect and enhance the natural environment and that it would work with stakeholders to achieve this goal.
Implications for Conservation
The decision by United Utilities to end grouse shooting on its moorlands has significant implications for conservation efforts in the region. The move will have a positive impact on the local ecosystem, wildlife and the environment.
Conservationists and conservation organisations have long been critical of grouse shooting, arguing that it is harmful to the environment and wildlife whilst many animal rights charities claim grouse shooting is a cruel sport. Grouse shooting involves the intensive management of moorlands, including the burning of heather to create an artificial habitat for grouse. This practice can have a detrimental impact on the natural ecosystem, including reducing biodiversity and harming other animals that rely on the moorlands for survival.
The decision by United Utilities to end grouse shooting on its moorlands will help to restore the natural balance of the ecosystem and promote biodiversity. This move will be welcomed by local nature lovers and NGOs who have been campaigning for an end to grouse shooting for years.
Moreover, the move by United Utilities is a significant step towards sustainable land management practices. By ending grouse shooting, the company is prioritising the long-term health of the environment over short-term financial gain. This sends a positive message to other landowners and corporations that sustainable land management practices are not only environmentally responsible but also economically viable.
The decision by United Utilities to end grouse shooting on its moorlands has significant implications for conservation efforts in the region. It will help to restore the natural balance of the ecosystem, promote biodiversity, and encourage sustainable land management practices.