Across the land, skilled full-time and seasonal employees work tirelessly to ensure that Scotland’s reputation as the premier country sports destination is maintained.
This dedication is seen from the estate workers and gamekeepers who work year round to ensure our moorland is maintained to the highest possible standard, to the hospitality and tourism staff who provide a famed warm Scottish welcome to visitors.
More than 8,800 jobs across the country are provided as a direct result of grouse hunting, shooting and stalking. The significance of these jobs is even greater when their location is considered, often in remote rural areas with few other large-scale employers.
Garry MacLennan, head keeper at Invermark Estate, is one of the many who cares passionately about the gift of grouse.
“Grouse shooting is a massive part of life on Invermark Estate, without the grouse there would be a far smaller team of workers employed by the estate. At the moment we have nine full time staff working the 55,000 acres of mixed moorland, woodland and grazing land.
“We want as many species as possible to thrive on the estate so this means population control of some species such as foxes, weasels and crows throughout the year because they prey on grouse chicks and eggs causing grouse numbers to decline rapidly.
“During the shooting season there will be in the region of 20 beaters, as a minimum, hired by the estate, these are typically university students looking to make a bit of extra money during their summer holidays.
“Whilst the seasonal workers and shooting parties are here they are spending money in the local shops, restaurants and pubs as well as filling their cars at the local petrol station. The economic benefits of the grouse shooting season filter down to a variety of nearby businesses and trades people.”