The Game Conservancy Trust (GCT) has completed its pre-season grouse counts and, though numbers of the wily bird are not yet back to normal levels, moor managers are planning some restricted shooting in order to ensure a good breeding stock for next season.

Twenty-four sites were analysed by the GCT in both 2005 and 2006, and all the sites vary in size between 40 and 100 hectares. Encouragingly, productivity per hen was up 10 per cent compared to 2005, but spring counts revealed 10 per cent fewer adults.

For more on the current situation, see this week’s issue.