Grouse moor owners spent £52.5million on year-round management of their land in 2010, a figure that is set to increase this year with buoyant grouse shooting prospects.
However, according to the research, moors that let some or all of their shooting days on a commercial basis only receive revenue to cover, on average, less than 40% of their annual costs.
The association?s chairman, Edward Bromet, said: ?With little chance of generating a profit, grouse moor management is not a business that many bank managers would encourage you to get into.?
?However, the passion of moorland managers for their sport and the deep desire to improve the landscape whilst it is in their care, means that many people profit in other ways.?
Grouse moor managers have been singled out this year for their conservation work by both DEFRA and Natural England?s chief executive, Dr Helen Phillips.
Environment minister Richard Benyon said: ?A lot of valuable work is being done [by moorland owners] to protect these traditional landscapes, helping maintain the popularity of this multimillion-pound sport and providing a healthy home in which our wildlife can flourish.?
Edward Bromet added: ?Grouse moors are famous for their wildlife and beauty, but are much less well known for their vital role in providing a wide range of free natural services ? for example, clean water, flood protection, carbon storage, and places for quiet recreation.?