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National Trust bans shooting on moorland near Sheffield

The Trust said the aims of the shooting tenant ‘did not align’ with its ambitions of caring for the nature and history of the Peak District, reports Sarah Farnsworth

Red grouse

BR7K7T The Red Grouse Lagopus Lagopus seen here on Heather Moorland at Derwent Edge in The Derbyshire Peak District UK

The National Trust has banned grouse shooting on more than 1,600 acres at Park Hall in the High Peaks due to “concerns over management techniques”, according to the Sheffield Star newspaper. A National Trust spokeswoman told the Star: “The National Trust chose to not renew the shooting lease at Park Hall in Derbyshire in December 2022. We regularly review leases as part of our organisational processes and on this occasion chose not to renew due to concerns over the management techniques utilised. We have no plans to initiate a new shooting licence at Park Hall, as our objectives for the land are to work with our grazing tenant to mitigate the nature and climate crisis.”

She added: “The aims of the shoot tenant did not align with the National Trust’s ambitions of caring for the nature, beauty and history of the Peak District.”

The decision follows years of campaigning by activist groups, which have alleged that the disappearance of two male hen harriers last year was linked to the shoot. In recent years, heather burning has also been under the spotlight on the moor. In 2019, Amanda Anderson of the Moorland Association defended heather burning on the moor, noting that it “removes overgrown vegetation, which enables [previously damaged] blanket bog to recover” and also “reduces vegetation which can cause wildfires”.

This comes as wildfowlers grow increasingly concerned over the National Trust restricting access to its land. In addition, the Scottish parliament is due to read the Wildlife Management (Grouse) Bill, which will attempt to add further restrictions to moorland burning and grouse shooting. Shooting Times understands that attempts are being made to bring the reading of the bill forward to before Easter.