Yorkshire Water to consider ending grouse shooting tenure on Thornton Moor in Bronte Country Yorkshire News

The review will consider whether to continue to allow grouse and partridge hunting as a sport on the moors adjacent to the Ogden Water Nature Reserve when the lease expires later this year.

It forms part of a major change announced by the utility in 2019 when Yorkshire Water confirmed that it will test draft lease review on all areas of moorland it owns when they come up for renewal. Thornton Moor is believed to be the earliest such example.

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Yorkshire Water will end grouse hunting leases on two of its moors with eight…

Thornton Moor

The Wild Moors campaign group has been pushing for moors owned by Yorkshire Water, which date from the construction of reservoirs in the area, to be restored to nature to boost biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

Wild Moors Chief Executive Luke Steele said: “Yorkshire Water has a clear opportunity to switch off fowling on Thornton Moor and instead restore this land treasured locally by nature, climate and people. You must take it.

The group’s concern centers on the valuable peat on the moor that the rangers burn to create young heather on which the birds feed.

Non-native farm-raised partridges may also compete with wild birds for resources.

Grouse hunting is now over on nearby Ilkley Moor, where Bradford City Council has been widely praised for its conservation efforts to restore peat bogs and enhance wildlife.

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson said: “We announced in 2019 that we would review draft leases as they are renewed using our six capitals model to ensure activities on our land deliver the best results for society and the environment. Many of Our leases are long-term and we are working to finalize our complex assessment tool to ensure the decisions we make about our land are sound and well-informed. We look forward to testing the use of the assessment tool soon.”

Yorkshire Water is already looking for new tenants for two moors after their grouse hunting leases were not renewed.

The company is likely to seek a partnership with a conservation agency or sustainable farming operation for the future management of Baitings, Turley Holes and Higher House Moor, near Hebden Bridge, and Lane Head near Holmfirth on the edge of the Peak District.

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This notice was published: 2022-06-15 13:07:18

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