According to the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust?s (GWCT) pre-season red grouse counts, this year?s red grouse season is going to be a record-beater. Scientists reported that, despite suffering the harshest winter weather conditions for 30 years, red grouse have thrived.

In northern England, Dr David Baines, upland research director with the GWCT, said: ?This has been an extraordinary year for grouse in northern England, probably an all-time record-setter by quite a margin. July 2010 densities have increased by 56 per cent from July 2009 from an average of 187 birds per square kilometre across our 30 count sites to 292 birds per square kilometre this year. Of the four regions of northern England in which we conduct counts (Northern Dales, Southern Dales and Peak, North York Moors and Bowland), only in Bowland did average densities drop below 300 birds per square kilometre. One moor had an all-time record count of 671 birds, which probably equates to a density of more than 1,000 birds per square kilometre, when corrected for the amount of the area counted.?

The rest of this article appears in 11th August issue of Shooting Times.

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