Askham Bryan College, which runs land-based courses on its campuses in York and Newton Rigg, has leased 5,000 acres of moorland at Shap, in Cumbria, and is the first college to have such a resource of its own. The grouse moor is 20 miles from Newton Rigg, at Penrith, which became part of Askham Bryan in August 2011. The moor is being leased from Lonsdale Estates, and once hosted royal shooting parties, with guests including Kaiser Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany.

Having a lease on a moor will give students the chance to take part in hands-on projects managing the heather moorland, as well as looking at the balance between conservation and gamekeeping. The college already has 2,400 acres of farmland, forestry and mixed woodland that are used as a learning tool for the students.

Liz Philip, Askham Bryan’s chief executive, said: “Students from both our campuses will learn about integrated moorland management, with grouse shooting as the linchpin, including carrying out wildlife surveys, conservation work, heather burning and predator control. They will be working with our full-time gamekeeper, Tony Williams, building shooting butts, bridges and access tracks, and keeping alive traditional rural crafts.”

The rest of this article appears in the 5th June issue of Shooting Times.

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