Our uplands are wonderful ‘wild’ places but they could be much better for people and wildlife.

We want to see the whole of our Sheffield moors become a fantastic mosaic of habitats supporting thriving populations of all the variety of wildlife that should live in these inspiring places. This includes birds of prey such as hen harrier and peregrine as well as moorland species such as mountain hares.

To achieve this vision we believe the following must happen now across our Sheffield moors:

  • A move away from the intensive moorland management for grouse shooting that is currently practised on some of the Sheffield moors
  •  A ban on heather burning on peatlands in line with scientific evidence4,5 (see the case against burning)
  • An end to illegal wildlife persecution
  • Greater monitoring, enforcement and penalties by Natural England and South Yorkshire Police for illegal wildlife persecution
  • The introduction of vicarious liability 6
  • The removal of all stink pits and a major reduction in the use of snares.
  • Land managers to be paid for public services that benefit people and wildlife, for example natural flood risk management measures, wildlife conservation, improving water quality and carbon storage
  • Habitat and wildlife legislation offering protection equal or greater than that currently provided through European designations

The current practice of some of the Sheffield moors being managed for intensive grouse shooting is leading to a monoculture of heather, peat loss and grouse populations that boom and bust, requiring excessive medication and intensive wildlife persecution (eg stoats, weasels, badgers, hares) in order to sustain them. A more sustainable approach, in balance with the internationally important habitats we depend upon, working with nature, must be the future for these moors, instead of the focus being intensive grouse ‘farming’.


  1. https://www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme.org/about-peatlands/peatland-damage/burning-peatlands?s=03
  2. Brown, L.E., Holden, J. 7 Palmer, S.M., (2014) Effects of moorland burning on the Ecohydrology of rivers basins. Key findings from the EMBER project. University of Leeds https://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3597/grouse_moor_burning_causes_widespread_environmental_changes https://water.leeds.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2017/06/EMBER_full-report.pdf 
  3.  “Vicarious liability is the idea that people higher up the management structure should take responsibility for the illegal actions of their subordinates, so that junior staff do not take the blame and carry the can for the organisational failings” Mark Avery ‘Inglorious: Conflict in the Uplands’ (2016) p145