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Scottish Water also set to review grouse shooting

The publicly owned water supplier has followed in United Utilities’ footsteps, though any action will be subject to a ‘decision-making process’, reports Patrick Galbraith

Woman shooting on Scottish moor

The Angus Glens were historically one of Scotland's most prolific grouse shooting areas

Following on from the news about United Utilities announcing that there will be no new grouse shooting leases on its land (a move that it now seems to be back-pedaling on), Scottish Water, Scotland’s publicly owned water supplier, has announced that it is going to review grouse shooting on its land too. It should be noted that there is just one active grouse shooting lease on its ground, which is on a relatively small area in the Angus Glens.

Scottish Water, in a statement sent to Revive, an anti-grouse shooting group, has said that the lease is set to expire in 2027 and it will review its options at that point. Scottish Water has noted that any changes will be subject to a formal decision-making process.

However, it has said it is likely that its considerations will lead to a change of permitted land use. At the same time, the company said there will be no new grouse shooting leases created across its catchment estate.

Dee Ward, a grouse Shot, grouse moor owner and the chair of Scottish Land & Estates, is set to meet with Scottish Water in the next couple of weeks to discuss its plans in the Angus Glens, historically one of Scotland’s most prolific grouse shooting areas.

He told Shooting Times that he is concerned that “without predator control and habitat management on their land” – of course, two of the benefits of grouse moor management – “the abundant wader populations will not be looked after and will decline”.

The Angus Glens is currently a place of change. Last year, news broke that Forestry and Land Scotland (formerly the Forestry Commission Scotland) was set to buy the 16,500 acre Glen Prosen estate, the most westerly of the Angus Glens, from Robin Batchelor. Its plan is reportedly to cover it in trees.

This story first appeared in Shooting Times, Britain’s oldest and best-selling shooting magazine. Published every Wednesday, the 141-year title has long been at the coalface of the countryside, breaking the stories that matter to you. Subscribe here.