Breeding success for grouse

Red grouse numbers are higher than they have ever been in Northern England

Gloucestershire floods

Red grouse numbers are higher this year than they have ever been in Northern England since accurate counting started in the early 1980s. The annual count by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is showing an average 23 per cent population increase on last year across the region. This success helps secure the future of much of our upland habitat and wildlife.


The maintenance and management of England’s heather moorland is largely achieved through the conservation of this upland bird. A vast variety of other wildlife depends upon the healthy condition of heather moorland, including some of our most evocative birds, the curlew, the golden plover and the lapwing or peewit.


Red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus), are a unique sub-species of willow grouse and are only found in Britain. Red grouse are also one of our most valuable gamebirds as they are among the fastest flyers in the world, reaching speeds of up to 100km/h.