Scotland’s spectacular Black Grouse is under threat from maturing commercial forests which were planted between 1950 and 1980. The bird’s ideal landscape is a mix of heather moorland, rough grassland and open woodland or scrub. However, the maturing trees block the light to the forest floor thereby killing the foliage necessary for the bird to survive.

The bird’s decline is particularly noticeable in Perthshire but reductions have also occurred in other parts of Scotland, and England and Wales.

Forestry Commission Scotland has a policy of planting native woodlands as part of an initiative to restore Grouse habitats.

The only way of counting the Black Grouse population is to identify lekking males (blackcocks) during their courtship displays; the females lay hidden out of sight in the long grass.

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