The Glorious 12TH opens with a bang
Visitors from across the UK and abroad flocked to Scotland this weekend to take part in the traditional start of the grouse shooting season.
The Glorious 12th, which dates back more than 160 years, is one of the most important dates in the country diary and is famed around the world.
Although predictions for the season have indicated a mixed picture, with late snow and cold wet weather in June being blamed for lower than expected grouse numbers, there is still game to be had.
Among those taking to the hills on the first day of the season was farmer and cheese maker Archie Montgomery. He had travelled from Somerset to the Alvie Estate near Aviemore with a party of 80 people to celebrate his 60th birthday.
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to open the grouse shooting season in such magnificent Highland surroundings. Scotland offers world class country sports and the reason we chose this place is because of the shooting. We’re all great supporters,” said Mr Montgomery.
An increase in interest from home-grown shooting enthusiasts and overseas visitors flocking to Scotland’s sporting estates has created something a boom for traditional country pursuits of late.
Jamie Williamson, owner of Alvie Estate, said the Montgomery part’s trip to Scotland was a good example of the benefits shooting brings to the local economy.
“It’s a real family affair for our visitors,” he said of their visit. “In many ways this highlights what shooting means to rural Scotland. Visitors love it and their presence here gives a real shot in the arm to local businesses. Today’s party is staying on the estate for the weekend and have taken the estate house.
“People often criticise shooting as being nothing more than a tradition – that’s certainly not the case and it’s good to see young people and others from all walks of life taking an interest in it.”