Protest walk against Ilkley Moor grouse shooting – BBC News

Image caption Protestors met at Cow and Calf Rocks on Hangingstone Road for a “walk for wildlife” to the top of the famous Ilkley Moor

A protest ramble to the top of Ilkley Moor has been held to oppose grouse shooting on council land.

The grouse shooting license , granted by Bradford City Council, is due to expire in April.

Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor (BBIM) said the practice is “a conservation calamity”.

Bingley Moor Partnership, which has the contract to run eight days of grouse shooting per year, said the events helps fund moorland preservation.

Luke Steele from BBIM said: “Bradford Council can achieve so much better with this land than grouse shooting, which causes so much damage,” he said.

“We want it to be used for the public’s interests, to contribute to the local economy, to improve biodiversity and mitigate flood risk in the valleys below.

Image caption Protestors said Ilkley Moor could be used “so much better”

“Anything short will only ensure this conservation calamity continues.”

Edward Bromet of Bingley Moor Partnership said the shoots help fund the moor.

“We’ve sprayed back the bracken, reduced sheep numbers, we’re allowing the heather to restore… the pest and predator control allows the birds to take advantage of the restored vegetation,” he said.

“The red- and amber-listed birds like lapwing and curlew can come back to the moor again and everybody can come up and enjoy it.”

Image caption Protestors said Ilkley Moor could be used “so much better”

The council said: “The current contract to allow shooting on the moor will come to an end in April next year.

“All representations will be taken into account before any decision is made on whether to renew the contract or not.”

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