The population of blackgrouse has doubled in just two years in some parts of northern England following two ?fantastic? breeding years, according to results of spring counts announced last week by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

The Trust?s Dr Phil Warren described the news as ?extraordinary?, having seen numbers fall to less than 500 males two years ago, when the area witnessed its worst winter weather conditions for almost 30 years.

He commented: ?The remarkable comeback of blackgrouse in the North Pennines is a huge achievement for all those involved in the recovery of the birds, and we are particularly grateful to the many farmers, gamekeepers and grouse moor managers who have implemented our recommendations. There is no doubt that without their support and enthusiasm we may have lost this enigmatic bird.?

The rest of this article appears in the 9th May issue of Shooting Times.

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