Scottish gamekeepers have been reminded of fieldsports’ “indispensable” contribution to the economy and employment at the 2016 Scottish Gamekeepers Association AGM.
Making the keynote speech, chairman Alex Hogg said few other industries could match what is delivered for Scotland in these fragile areas without dipping increasingly into taxpayers’ pockets.
He said: “One thing that stands out like a sore thumb is the amount of investment, conservation and employment which is being created from fields sports and fishing.
“This cannot be understated, particularly when we have problems in oil, challenges in farming and job losses and dropping margins in aquaculture.
“Not only is our work providing economic benefits, it is keeping the landscape and rivers in such a way that brings people to Scotland.
“It keeps jobs in our hills, glens and straths. Each year, new children and families are being brought up in these places and skilled opportunities are keeping those families there.
“Last year, in five scattered Glens in Angus, one grouse season saw £1m going directly to households in wages. It created 57 full-time jobs, seasonal work for 512 beaters – and over 900 businesses benefited from trade directly with estates, to the tune of £4.7m. That was in only six of 20 estates surveyed in one region. What other type of business at 1000ft and above could generate that for Scotland?”