From Ilkley Gazette, May 2nd, 2018
Written by Claire Lomax
GROUSE shooting on Ilkley Moor has officially come to an end, after Bradford Council’s deed which formerly permitted the controversial practice expired at midnight on Tuesday, The official end of grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor has been welcomed by campaigners. Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor (BBIM) has lobbied Bradford Council to end grouse shooting on the moor since its formation in May 2014. Luke Steele, spokesperson for BBIM, said: “Bradford Council’s decision to end grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor is to be commended in the highest terms. It reflects the urgent need to reverse wildlife decline, habitat degradation and public dismay which has overshadowed this treasured moorland since grouse shooting was introduced in 2008.
“We thank all of those who have relentlessly pursued an end to grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor - the strong cross-party representation of Parish and District Councillors, regional MPs including John Grogan, Judith Cummins, Naz Shah and Alex Sobel, visitors to the moor and conservation groups. This is as much a victory for them as it is for the precious wildlife and habitat. Our efforts will now turn to reversing the terrible legacy of grouse shooting on the moor in pursuit of a first-class asset for the region, which promotes wildlife biodiversity, education, leisure and the local economy.”
Bradford Council was the last local authority in the UK to allow grouse shooting to take place on public moorland. Others, including the Peak District National Park Authority and Sheffield Council, also prohibit the practice on their upland estates, having previously allowed it, and now maintain the land using other methods.
A spokesperson for Bradford Council said: “The licence for grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor expired on 30 April.
“Our focus is now on implementing the objectives of our Ilkley Moor Management Plan to manage the heathland, increase tree coverage in appropriate areas, restore peat and blanket bog, and reduce flood risk for the surrounding areas.
“As part of the plan we will be seeking additional sources of funding to help our stewardship of the moor.”