£1 million windfall from Grouse season

Members of the Angus Glens Moorland Group and families at a recent school event in Angus

Members of the Angus Glens Moorland Group and families at a recent school event in Angus

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Nearly £1 million will flow into the Angus glens communities from the grouse shooting season, which starts today, according to the Angus Glens Moorland Group.

Five glens are located in the most sparsely populated part of the county, with this western edge reliant on hill farming and rural sports income.

A new survey has shown households in the scattered villages will benefit by nearly £1 million from grouse shooting, with hundreds of jobs stemming from the activity.

Respondents to the survey, carried out by the moorland group, were questioned about employee roll and staff wages From six of seven estates who supplied salary information, the wages paid out to staff from gamekeepers to chefs to administrative workers totalled £989,972.

There were also 57 full time jobs created by grouse shooting across the seven estates, with 512 beating staff employed during the course of the season.

There were 45 gamekeeper jobs dependent upon grouse shooting, with some stalking and fishing, and 30 employees under the age of 25 plus seven students benefiting from employment across the estates.

Lianne MacLennan, Angus Glens Moorland Group co-ordinator, said: “A lot of people hear about the 12th August on TV and radio but it’s not very well explained how it affects the households and families in the parts of Scotland where grouse shooting takes place.

“As a group, we decided to try to get a proper idea of what it meant, in a language that was easy to understand.

“We talk regularly about how much revolves around the grouse season. Our kids are at the schools together but we only really had vague ideas about how the season impacts on things like household incomes and budgets. The figures we managed to gather give us a much better idea of what it means for people who live here, although we haven’t taken into account the further impacts the visitors have on the local trades and small businesses in the nearby villages.”

The group’s survey found that the seven estates employed 32 casual staff such as cleaners and caterers and 25 non-gamekeeping employees.

It also found that the average gamekeeper has worked roughly two 70 hour weeks getting ready for the August 12, in the past two weeks.

Lianne continued: “At this time of the year the estates are really busy, particularly the gamekeepers, getting everything ready for the visiting parties.

“If these visitors didn’t come from Scotland, England and overseas, it would make it much more difficult for families to continue to live locally and for businesses to keep job levels up. These jobs are so important when there aren’t lots of big employers around.”

The Angus Glens Moorland Group is producing a video to coincide with the start of the grouse shooting season, which will be available on their page at www.facebook.com/pages/Angus-Glens-Moorland-Group/660627364070537?fref=nf