THE start of the grouse shooting season on Monday will bring huge economic benefits to the region, according to the organisation representing rural land owners.

Douglas Chalmers, of the CLA, said: “Just as the £9 billion investment made by the country in the Olympic Games will provide long-term benefits for otherwise disadvantaged areas and communities, grouse shooting pours tens of millions of pounds of private money into the North every year.

“Much of this money goes into the management of the moors and paying for the full and part- time staff who work there.The rest is spent during the season in hotels, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, shops and garages – supporting businesses and jobs and insulating them against less busy months.”