Revive: the coalition for grouse moor reform, coming soon!

An exciting new partnership will be launched in Scotland in early November – Revive: the coalition for grouse moor reform.

The Revive coalition is an unusual alliance of campaigners, scientists and policy advocates from the fields of social justice, conservation, animal welfare and environmental protection, coming together to present the case for the reform of Scottish grouse moors.

The coalition includes Common Weal, Friends of the Earth Scotland, The League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, OneKind, and Raptor Persecution UK.

The launch event will coincide with the publication of a new commissioned report outlining the arguments for grouse moor reform, authored by Ruth Tingay (RPUK) and Andy Wightman MSP. The Revive coalition will also unveil its proposed campaign strategies and plans.

More info to come but in the meantime you can follow the Revive coalition on Twitter (@ReviveCoalition) and on Facebook. Also keep an eye on the Revive website here.

24 Responses to “Revive: the coalition for grouse moor reform, coming soon!”

  1. 1 Dylanben
    October 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    We could do with a branch down here in England. Scotland is getting all the goodies – OneKind, and now Revive!

  2. 3 Bonxie
    October 20, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Website link isn’t working? V exciting project though, good on you!

  3. 5 Les Wallace
    October 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    This I think will be the moment when the tide actually turned against the estates – putting forward options that are better for wildlife, residents, visitors and jobs than turning the uplands into a giant production unit for red grouse. Old Fergus won’t be so quick off the mark to fly the flag for them if doing so clearly COSTS jobs. I know from experience that even in FoE Scotland there were members who hated recreational killing, detested what DGS was doing to the land and wildlife, but couldn’t bring themselves to campaign against it because they literally believed families would lose their homes. That’s FoES members so imagine how many of the public feel that way? Crush the ludicrous jobs blackmail and DGS has had it, no sane politician is going to stick up for something that kills hen harriers AND the rural economy, not when the public know it. Can’t wait to hear more about this, in the meantime can everybody try to get a few more signatures for this petition please https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/226109

    • 6 Michael Haden
      October 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      Totaly agree, Bowland has similar landscape as the Peak District, but a fraction of the tourism, despite being within less than an hour of major conurbations. This is totaly down to the inhospitable attitude of the landowners, to the detriment of local business.

      • 7 Les Wallace
        October 20, 2018 at 10:58 pm

        Funnily enough in the mid 90s I spent a couple of New Years on residential conservation holidays in the FoB – our group spent a far whack in local pubs and shops and we did genuine conservation work. True a grouse shooter’s Purdey shotgun might have cost even more than we spent, but who put more into the local economy? The FoB definitely doesn’t have the public profile it should.

  4. 8 Mr Carbo
    October 20, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    I am in total agreement with the above comments. Mr Carbo will be present at this event and will support it fully.
    More cartoons in the pipeline.

  5. 9 Anthony
    October 20, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    Speaking from experience. Some 30 years ago. To my eternal shame I was hired as a beater for a shooting party. This was on the property of xxxxx xxxxx in the North of Ireland. . Once was enough for me and my friend. Personally I was always concerned about wildlife and in particular birds are my favourite. Apart from feeling like that I was a nobody to those with the posh gentrified accents ( male and female) I recognised quite a few of the locals hob nobs also on the shoot. That particular day there was a local MP ,, several other MPS from other constituent areas of the north. Several prominent members of the north of Ireland security forces. Both police and army reservists, solicitors, barristers. Also some local town council members. There were others too that had an air of superiority as I saw it . Their accents were city types ( Belfast) and I don’t mean ghetto accents. That was sthen some 30 odd years ago. I don’t know who are the clientele that shoot nowadays. I could assume and guess, it’s probably much the same. Though I could be wrong . Also the main judge who sat in xxxxxxx court was there also he seemed to have been accompanied by a local female doctor….. it’s funny how you can recall things when you get a chance to put pen to paper, or thumb to keys as it is today.
    I have to say it wasn’t grouse that was the birds that they were shooting, it was mainly pheasant and a few partridge.
    Oh how they laughed and conversed through it all . By the days end there were scores of dead birds. This is what sickened me the most, only half a dozen or so were kept for the pot . The rest were just dumped to rot or for the carrion to get at . Such a bloody disgrace, I’ll never forget it nor forgive myself for being a part of it .
    Don’t get me wrong wrong, I’ve friends that shoot and hunt. Never never ever do they kill , more than they will need for the pot ( to eat) .
    My grandfather was a huntsman all his life, as are many of the working class country people, from around the bogs and loughs were I was reared. Many a hunt and drag hunt I was on . I never once saw a fox or hare being killed? Surely not you may say? Well I speak the truth, these were ordinary people , labourers and smallholders. They’d no horses to chase . We went on foot for miles following the tonguing of the hounds. To be honest I was a little surprised by the lack of a catch. I mentioned it to my grandfather. His response makes so much sense today. Sure why would you want to catch and kill what they were chasing? What would the hounds have to chase next week!
    See it was all about the hounds and the chase , difference in the breeding of people!

    • 10 Anthony
      October 21, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      Why have you deleted the landowner of the estates name ? And why did you delete the courthouse that the judge sat on the bench all those years ago????? If this is the attitude and policy of us / you / we , who are trying to bring change, then the instantaneous lack of transparency and truth….. in my opinion, is not not a great way to start , movement/ protest that neefs the support and voice of mere mortals like myself. Do you even have any idea how hard it was for me to write my truth ? Then people ( you the admin/ editor) edit my truth!!!! I’m at a loss to understand why you done it , and a little dissatisfied and disappointed ( am I not believed?)
      There is one thing that from the beginning of time, to its last day . That’ll no matter what others do to impede or discredit, will never and can never be altered

      • October 22, 2018 at 12:28 am


        You made accusations about named individuals, or individuals that are identifiable, that we can’t possibly know to be accurate. As publishers, we are legally responsible for the comments that are posted on this blog. If someone makes a false accusation, and we publish it, we could then be subject to legal action.

        Try not to take it personally. We routinely moderate all comments before they’re published. Removing the names doesn’t detract from your reported experience.

  6. 12 Greer Hart, senior.
    October 21, 2018 at 3:58 am

    This is great news, but surely there are absentees who should be on this Coalition? There are organisations that I would have thought would have leapt with alacrity at the chance to be represented. What mindset or delusion exists that may deter them for being present? Les Wallace in his comment about the Friends of the Earth holding back initially, over the threat to rural jobs, gives an insight into the inculcated minds at that time, that rural jobs depended on one industry only, and that was the economic activity of game bird shooting. It was like garlic and a cross against vampires, in warding off the challenge to privilege and ensconced brainwashing, that landowners had installed, to ward off, what was a weak front to breach such specious arguments for maintaining sports shooting, as the only way the upland landscape of Scotland could be managed. NOW, enlightenment brought on by a sheer change in scientific knowledge, a more informed and ethical public, and a realisation that Scotland was being ill-served by a poor and subservient political class; subservient to a group that should have been cut down to size centuries ago, namely, the masters our natural landscape, those who had absolute power over what was to live and die among our wildlife. They were free to appoint killers of that wildlife, gamekeepers, whose image was deliberately enhanced to fool a much economically harassed public in its ghetto housing estates, with its worries being job security, health provision and getting its children into a trade or a first time for a family, son or daughter into university. The argument that gamekeepers and other estate workers would lose their jobs and homes, if shooting estates were to disappear, no longer holds water, if it ever did, as we all live in a more mobile society, that allows us more economic freedom, and a benefits system that acts as a reasonably good safety net.

    What baulked me and my kind, back in the bad old days of trying to win public support for animal welfare and conservation of wildlife, was that the Scottish public required to have the blinkers removed from its eyes, regarding who was really running Scotland and the rest of the UK. Our street stalls and gimmicks to inform were popular, and the inherent humanity of the public was attested by full petitions and collection boxes. However, most of the donations to the big conservation charities was going to protect wildlife in other countries, and that left a bankrupt situation here for our own beleaguered birds, insects, marine life, animals and plants. I have noticed that one big conservation group is absent from the Revive Coalition, which once approved of trophy shooting, which has now turned into a nightmare for many animals, Lions/Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras, Bears etc., and a disgrace for those governments allowing it. It is the same dumb mentality that wants to industrially kill Grouse, and to kill wildlife in Africa or wherever else. Strictly Comes Dancing recently had a contestant who had appeared in the Press posing with African animals she had shot. How can wildlife conservation groups continually ask for public donations to save endangered species, when such species are being auctioned off by governments or game parks, and whose meat turns up in fish mongers and butchers here in Scotland, as exotic meats?

    Surely, with all the indicators on world climate change, poaching of wildlife, destruction of rainforests to create palm oil plantations, mining, fracking and oil extraction, trophy shooting, population growth and people trafficking and many more destructive of the natural world activities, it has sunk home that we in Scotland have a part to play in saving world biodiversity and inventing new ways of managing our marginal, but potentially wildlife rich, landscapes, without having mass slaughters of Mountain Hares and other creatures, for transient, cruel and irrational pleasure? We could also have a more reformed teacher training system, to bring in an ethically informed and trained in wildlife conservation studies, for young primary teachers. The Gorilla Organisation and other well-run groups, couple their conservation work with setting up schools, organising clean water and safe from smoke stoves, along with health programmes. This reveals to communities the value of conservation, and how to use landscapes more humanely. Scottish politicians and their civil servants have a lot to learn from such exemplary work. What I have stated shows a very big problem is blowing up like a hurricane, as far as saving our countryside and wildlife. The old regime and its political backers, have to go, and those who have contrived to oblige those who flauntingly kill our Birds of Prey, have to be restrained from doing so. I have been grossly embarrassed by living in a country that does not punish wildlife crime effectively, when many of the projects I support internationally are in countries where imprisonment follows. I recently received a letter from an MSP with regard to fox hunting law, and the sender stated that more important issues such as education and the NHS should be given priority. That was the old gambit for wriggling out of a subject, that was controversial. The point missed by such politicians is that Scottish people know what their problems are, but they are concerned also about the continued survival of anachronistic practices such as blood sports, effectively dominating our wildlife landscapes, and having an influence over the processes of our law enforcement system.

  7. 13 Iain Gibson
    October 21, 2018 at 4:35 am

    I admit it’s early days and I’m a natural pessimist, but I hope this isn’t yet another compromise which drives another nail into the coffin of banning driven grouse shooting. My desire would be to see all grouse and other game shooting banished from the moors, my firm belief being that would be an essential first step leading to the ultimate end of hen harrier and other raptor persecution. My heart sank when I read this, but I’ll reserve proper judgement until I see the proposals in detail.

    • 14 Paul Fisher
      October 21, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Really Iain? My heart sang when I read this! This is Ruth we’re talking about. Can’t see much compromise there.
      I’m with Dylanben, let’s have this down here please. Now let’s see, oh yeah, MA has just had a trip up north hasn’t he!

    • 15 Les Wallace
      October 21, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      I understand your viewpoint – these days I take an ‘expect the worst’ stance and celebrate when that doesn’t happen, but in this case I think you’ll be in for one hell of a pleasant surprise. This completely turns the tables on the estates by saying that change means more jobs and stronger local communities, not the collapse of them. [Ed: a couple of sentences removed as inappropriate commentary]. What has the John Muir Trust got out of trying to work with the estates, or the RSPB for that matter? They’re getting more and more outspoken about the need for better economic/ecological strategies for the uplands. The Woodland Trust and bat Conservation Trust can only gain from the grouse moors losing influence and what about WWF Scotland?

      In Yorkshire the authorities are going to set up an experimental beaver reintroduction near Pickering to see how it could reduce flooding. Geographically/politically that’s getting very, very close to the grouse moors and surely we must be at the stage where we know that along with peat bog restoration large scale eco-restoration of riparian woodland and beaver translocations will have a major benefit reducing the flooding of good quality farmland, businesses and homes downstream. Imagine any politician coming out and saying that should be compromised so blasting grouse won’t be affected? We can get them in a corner where they can’t avoid this question – isn’t that a lovely thought!?! I’d love to see Fergus wriggle out of that one. This in itself is a killing argument for substantial change. Add in woodlot forestry for rural homes that don’t have mains gas and are genuinely living in fuel poverty, conservation working holidays, top end eco tourism, wilder camping, better walking, even just more opportunities for pony trekking, a far more democratic use of the uplands resulting in an ecologically and economically more diverse and thereby healthier landscape, and driven grouse shooting just won’t be able to compete.

      • 16 Iain Gibson
        October 21, 2018 at 11:19 pm

        The word that worries me is “reform” of Scottish grouse moors. It’s been a long standing concern of mine that simply reforming from driven to walked-up grouse shooting, which most seem to believe would “fix” the harrier persecution problem, will not achieve such an objective. I had three grouse moors operating within my study area, and all three collapsed as businesses primarily because of poor grouse numbers, perhaps due to being in a high rainfall area on the Scottish west coast. Before the syndicates collapsed, for a period of several years gamekeepers on two of the moors, which resorted to walk-up shooting, seemed to be killing harriers just as ruthlessly as they had in the days of driven grouse shooting. If however “reform” leads to an end to game shooting altogether, and the moors managed as National Nature Reserves, I would be more than happy to support such a bold venture.

        • 17 Les Wallace
          October 22, 2018 at 7:38 am

          I believe that reform here will mean change to the point where grouse shooting is no longer a concern to us, which won’t leave much. One of the partners is fundamentally opposed to recreational killing, but are seeing this as a way to at least reduce it substantially. Maybe reform could be taken to mean ‘reformed’ into something else entirely. Yes I think you’re right about the killing will continue otherwise, it seems to go beyond a selfish and cold blooded belief that killing raptors means more of other birds to shoot for fun. There’s a twisted spite going on towards birds of prey and those trying to protect them which just seems to feed of itself.Certainly more to it than being ‘part of the job’. I’ve noticed before how many gamekeepers, ex gamekeepers or shooters keep either doves or caged finches in their garden. One recently wrote in Shooting Times about sparrowhawk targeting his caged finches and eating them alive by pulling them up as close as possible to the wire and tearing off what they can through it. Even if this is really happening no mention of putting in any deterrent measures (I would have thought a second ‘skin’ of larger mesh caging with a reasonable gap between the two) whatsoever, just maligning a bird of prey, a native predator and its interaction with an unnatural situation. I am bloody positive this keeping birds in the garden is a ploy to denigrate birds of prey, they are being used as bait – that’s how deep hatred of them runs in their psychology. Hopefully there’ll start to be too much pressure for estates to get off with being raptor free any longer and a token pair won’t be enough – hopefully. I agree though we ultimately need an end to this traditional game keeping and its ‘culture’.

          • October 22, 2018 at 2:28 pm

            If Mark Avery’s conclusions in Inglorious are correct then enforced Licensing should put an end to driven grouse shooting. If DGS depends on raptor crime then if it is licensed and the law enforced with a low threshold of proof and harsh punishments it can’t survive. The punishments have to be hard for it to work. I know Mark doesn’t think it is enforceable and there is the rub.
            I know this won’t satisfy vegans but it is a start. This is the kind of compromise which isn’t bargaining with criminals like brood persecution and lowland introductions. That is why the grousers don’t want licensing. That is a good rule of thumb. Anything they like is not going to help raptors and vice versa.

  8. 19 Diane
    October 21, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    This is BRILLIANT news !!! a group of REAL conservationists,who REALLY care about our wildlife and countryside coming together to ensure things are done the right way !!! DELIGHTED to read this news !!!! Now with Raptor Persecution UK getting involved we will hopefully see less of our BoP being killed for the sake of grouse shooting !!!! well done on forming this coallition guys ,wildlife’s day is coming !!!

  9. 20 Mr Carbo
    October 21, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Anthony I loved your grandfather,s response to your question. Brilliant Irish logic !

  10. 22 Circus Maxima
    October 21, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Good… what influence will Revive achieve? How will it engage with the issue? From the outside looking in or will it lobby for the opportunity for direct engagement in the existing structures? An independent campaign or lobbying for say… a seat in the moorland forum?

    My gut feeling is that we need to view the existing structures as too corrupted to be worthy of our time. Stand up and build a broad church which will be a defacto replacement for the current long grass!

    • 23 Peter
      October 23, 2018 at 5:59 am

      One thing that should be done is to make it mandatory that to own that amount of land you must be resident in Scotland and pay all of the taxes due. Also the owner should be identifiable. This to include company ownership as well.

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