Robust capital values for grouse indicate a buoyant market where there are more buyers than sellers as the Glorious Twelfth marks the opening of the grouse season this week.

This is despite relatively poor conditions experienced up until 2006. A brace of grouse is now worth between £3000 and £4000 in capital terms, which means that a moor will be valued at around £4m if it yields 1,000 brace a year.

The prospect of good grouse shooting this season seems almost assured following last year’s increased bags, according to Savills.

Grouse shooting

English moors look set to deliver better numbers than Scotland, where prospects look patchy at best, the firm claims, although later counts have led keepers to believe the season will be better than expected.

Less than half a dozen out of the 350 managed moors in the UK change hands each year, with some of these let not sold.

In the past 12 months, the celebrated 18,700-acre Leadhills moor in Lanarkshire, Scotland was offered for let by Savills for offers over £2.5m over a 16-year period. In England, CKD Kennedy Macpherson sold Westerdale and Rosedale Moors for well above the £15m guide price.

However Anna Thomas at Savills in Edinburgh says she is getting frequent calls from serious buyers despite the challenging economic climate. “They are buying a dream and it’s going to take much more than a couple of bad years to extinguish the prospect of a sunny day, a 200-brace bag and seven friends experiencing one of nature’s rarest sporting treats,” she said.

CKD Kennedy Macpherson is currently offering Woodhead and Snailsden Moors, covering 7,500 acres in the South Pennines, which have seen considerable investment in recent years. In 2007 Snailsden shot a record bag of 175 brace in five drives. Guide price is £4-£5m.

picture courtesy of the Moorland Association