THE grouse season proved a success in North Yorkshire with most estates experiencing a full shooting programme due to favourable weather conditions.

The North Yorkshire Moors Moorland Organisation reported that shoot days were let right the way through the four-month season, which ended on December 10.

Grouse moor managers said 200 driven shoot days were hosted throughout the season on estates across the North Yorkshire region, up 23 per cent on last year.

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Spokesman Tina Brough said: “We have witnessed a good year with most of our estate members welcoming both domestic and international visitors right into the final weeks of the season."

She added: "The grouse industry is a life line for many in our rural community offering employment opportunities and supporting many local businesses, with shooting-related tourism bolstering trade during the winter off-season.

Some 45 full time keepers are employed on estates across the moors and on average each grouse moor employs around 23 extra people per shoot day. An estimated 1,000 workdays of additional employment were provided this season - twice as many as last year.