28th September 2018 Bransdale has a reputation for being one of the most isolated dales in the North York Moors National Park and is rarely visited as compared with Farndale and Rosedale for example 18'000 acres belong to the Bransdale grouse shooting estate. Thanks to the management of its moorland (incl. spraying of bracken) big areas of heather have been regenerated and recovered in the last 10 years and has also helped provide a source of food and protection for grouse. In this lovely countryside grouse have come along very well this year. Unlike pheasant and partridge, grouse are also completely wild and it is not possible to maintain or increase its population by rearing or releasing birds. The grouse - a bird that cannot be reared. By the way the grouse have a very special call like "goback-goback-goback"!! The heather blooms every year again thanks to a lot of intensive care: during the winter months about a tenth of areas of heather will carefully be burnt… … so that new young heather can grow back with fresh young shoots for the grouse to eat, but still leaving plenty of old heather for them to nest in. It is not easy for the guns to hit the grouse because they fly quite low in a curve and very fast. During the drives (about 5 a day) the dogs are waiting in the cars until it is their turn. Just have a look at the different breeds: Cocker and Springer Spaniels, Wirehair, Shorthair and Labradors! After every drive all pickingup-dogs together hunt the whole area systematically. Working in heather needs quite a good condition… …for dogs as well as for handlers! Paradoxically, it is because of shooting that grouse isn't on the endangered species list, ... ... as shooting provides what is needed to pay for the essential year-round management that is carried out by gamekeepers;... ...; management without which grouse and its habitat would be lost.