Inglorious: Conflict in the Uplands
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Driven grouse shooting, where flocks of Red Grouse are chased by lines of beaters so that they fly over lines of 'guns' that shoot the fast-flying birds, is a peculiarly British fieldsport. It is also peculiarly British in that it is deeply rooted in the British class system. This multi-million pound business dominates the hills of the north of England – the Pennines, the North Yorkshire Moors, the Cheviots – and throughout Scotland. Grouse shooting is big business. VERY big business and backed by powerful, wealthy lobbying groups, its tendrils run throughout British society.
Inglorious makes the case for banning driven grouse shooting. The facts and arguments are presented fairly but the author, Mark Avery, states from the start why he has, after many years of soul-searching, come down in favour of an outright ban. There is too much illegal killing of wildlife, such as Buzzards, Golden Eagles, and, most egregiously of all, Hen Harriers; and, as a land use, it wrecks the ecology of the hills. However, grouse shooting is economically important, and it is a great British tradition. All of these, and other points of view, are given fair and detailed treatment and analysis – and the author talks to a range of people on different sides of the debate.
The book also sets out Avery's campaign with Chris Packham to gain support for the proposal to ban grouse shooting, culminating in 'Hen Harrier Day', timed to coincide with the 'Glorious' 12th. Ever-controversial, Mark Avery is guaranteed to stir up a debate about fieldsports, the countryside and big business in a book that all British conservationists will want to read.