A Wooler-based land agents firm is gearing up for busy times as the grouse shooting season approaches, despite some concerns over the recent heatwave.
With less than three weeks until the start of the season, Wooler-based Sale and Partners have indicated that there are good prospects ahead with some encouraging reports from keepers in the northern Pennines and Lammermuirs.
Ewan Harris, of Sale and Partners, who works with a number of estates across the Borders and further afield, said the news is a welcome improvement on last year, one of the wettest in history.
Shoot managers on the country’s grouse moors will start the formal counts of stocks in the next few weeks to get a better picture.
Despite last year’s downpour, the autumn grouse stocks that remained have performed well.
Some struggled a little in the spring with the frosts and late snow which meant that broods were two to three weeks later in hatching.
Brood sizes were also smaller than usual, but the dry mild summer weather has meant survival rates have on the whole been excellent.
Some shoots may be postponed until August, however, if stocks have not reached maturity in time for the Glorious Twelfth – the start of the shooting season.
Grouse are usually found in their natural environment on the moors and rely on young heather as a food source and fresh water.
The heatwave is making it more difficult for the birds to find water on the dry moors and keepers are concerned that the lack of water is becoming a real issue.
The Glorious Twelfth is a highlight for many on the 459 grouse moors across the UK.
Sale and Partners specialises in the sale and purchase of estates, farms and residential properties, land management, accounting and tax and design services.