Saturday, August 18, 2018

"Revealed: the aristocrats and City bankers who own England’s grouse moors"

"This Sunday is the ‘Glorious Twelfth’, the start of the grouse shooting season. But who are the landowners who own England’s vast grouse moors?

As Who Owns England has previously exposed, grouse moor estates cover an area of England the size of Greater London – some 550,000 acres – and are propped up by millions of pounds in public farm subsidies.
Even the Spectator calls owning a grouse moor “screamingly elitist” – and surprise, surprise, around half of England’s grouse moor estates turn out to be owned by the aristocracy and gentry, whilst the other half are owned by wealthy businessmen and women, City bankers, hedge fund managers, and Saudi princes.
Here’s the ten largest grouse moors by area, with their owners, and the farm subsidies their estates received from the taxpayer in 2016:
Grouse Moor EstateAcreageFarm subsidies (2016)Owner
Raby Estate30,000£683,579Lord Barnard
Gunnerside Estate26,020£100,632Robert Warren Miller, businessman. Estate registered offshore
East Allenheads & Muggleswick26,000£145,288Jeremy Herrmann, hedge fund manager
Abbeystead Estate23,000£57,228Duke of Westminster
Wemmergill Estate15,676£272,664Michael Cannon, businessman
Lilburn Estate14,678£1,550,699Duncan Davidson, founder of Persimmon Homes
Bolton Abbey Estate13,500£139,708Duke of Devonshire
Bollihope Estate12,600None registeredSheikh of Dubai
Linhope Estate12,000Not knownDuke of Northumberland
Strathmore English Estates11,169£279,609Earl of Strathmore
Totals184,643 acres£3,229,407
You can read more about other grouse moor owners and the investigation methodology later in this blog post.


The fact that a tiny elite owns England’s grouse moor estates matters, because of the disproportionately large environmental impact of managing grouse moors. Grouse moor gamekeepers are responsible for the illegal persecution of hen harriers (we should have 300 pairs in the English uplands – it fell to 4 pairs in 2017), and for wiping out huge numbers of foxes, stoats and other natural predators of grouse.
Moreover, the slash-and-burn practices used to maintain grouse moors – burning heather, often on rare blanket bog – have been shown to dry out and degrade peat soils.  This releases soil carbon, adding to global warming, and reducing the resilience of our uplands to the impacts of climate change: desiccated bogs mean worse wildfires when it’s hot (like Saddleworth Moor) and more flooding when it rains (like the flash floods that washed off Walshaw Moor in winter 2015, deluging Hebden Bridge). It also makes grouse moors look like the surface of the moon, as I found on a visit to one in the Peak District..."
Read more from source here.

No comments: