Our success has unlocked moorland for conservation

2022: National Trust tightens up the rules on grouse shooting

The National Trust has tightened up the rules surrounding management of a vast expanse of moorland in the Peak District which it leases for grouse shooting.

Following a consultation which Wild Moors contributed to the landowner has agreed to no longer permit trapping and snaring of wild mammals and birds to drive up grouse numbers for shooting. It has also halted the burning of peatlands and use of medicated grit to sustain unnaturally high numbers of game birds.

Wild Moors continues to lobby the National Trust to bring its grouse shooting leases to an end and instead restore its land for nature, climate and people.

2021: Government partially bans burning on peatlands

Carbon-rich blanket bog is now largely legally protected from burning following our research into the scale of the problem.

Wild Moors helped to pioneer a partial ban on grouse moors burning on peatlands by presenting first-of-its-kind research to the Environment Minister outlining the scale and intensity of the problem. This was combined with a high-profile campaign of national and regional media coverage and winning the support of 14 local authorities across northern England for saving the nation’s sensitive peatlands from being damaged for grouse shooting.

Whilst the partial ban currently applies to deep peat only, we continue to advocate for the legislation to be extended with a blanket ban on burning all peatlands.

2020: Burning on peatlands banned by major landowners

Kinder Scout in the Peak District National Park is one of the many moors where Wild Moors has secured policies to end burning on peatland.

Wild Moors has secured policy commitments from major corporate landowners, including the National Trust, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water, to no longer permit burning on peatlands on any of the moors which they lease for grouse shooting. These policies are helping to conserve some of the nation’s most iconic landscapes including Kinder Scout in the Peak District and the Wuthering Moors in West Yorkshire.

2019: Yorkshire Water phases out grouse moor management

Yorkshire Water’s move away from grouse moor management frees up 10 moors across the county for conservation, including the iconic Wuthering Moors which inspired the Brontë sisters.

Wild Moors is making waves with a monumental policy on upland conservation from Yorkshire Water, one of the largest landowners in the region. The company will review the future of its 10 grouse shooting leases when they come up for renewal to help it implement nature-friendly moorland management across its catchment moors.  

2019: Grouse shooting ended on Denton Moor

Wild Moors secured a commitment from NG Bailey, the UK’s leading independent engineering business, to end its grouse shooting lease on Denton Moor in North Yorkshire. The move forms part of an environmental drive by the landowner to regenerate wildlife and habitats within the grounds of its headquarters.

2018: Grouse shooting ended on Ilkley Moor

Bradford Council became the first high-profile landowner to implement a grouse shooting ban as a direct result of campaigning by Wild Moors.

Whilst moorland restoration is still in the early stages the moor has already started to see the return of cornerstone species, including short-eared owls, red kites, ravens, grey partridges, foxes and badgers. The population of red grouse and waders, such as curlew and lapwing, also remain stable.

An ambitious natural flood management project has started on the moor in 2020 to restore a large section of blanket bog which has been damaged by historic heather burning and draining. This involves the installation of small dams, blocking drainage channels and extensive sphagnum moss planting to help re-wet the peatland and slow the rate of water flowing from the moor into Wharfedale. Additional benefits include capturing carbon, boosting biodiversity for species such as dunlin and preventing wildfires through creating a fire-resistant habitat.