Today sees the start of the grouse shooting season. Usually this is known as the Glorious 12th but, because it is prohibited to shoot game on a Sunday, this year’s season has been moved back one day.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has issued a statement welcoming the start of the season, saying that it will provide a much-needed boost to rural economies. ‘While Foot and Mouth continues to be a concern to farmers everywhere,’ said CLA President David Fursdon, ‘the Government’s response has been largely proportionate and the countryside remains open. Although many agricultural shows and events have been cancelled as a precautionary measure, it is a relief that other traditional country pursuits can continue, albeit with the need for increased vigilance and full biosecurity measures.’

Despite the terrible weather in July, grouse chick survival rates have been good, according to Dr David Baines, head of uplands research with the Game Conservancy Trust. Dr Baines said that breeding success this year has been ‘fantastic’.

The season usually lasts from August 12 to December 10 (until November 30 in Northern Ireland).