Highlands & Islands

Businessman wins Highland grouse moor dispute

Red grouse Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Businessman Alasdair Erskine took over a moor believing it to be one of the best for grouse

Supreme Court judges have ruled in favour of a tycoon who sued a shooting estate's trustees in a dispute over grouse.

Alasdair Erskine claimed he had been misled by Castle Grant Estate about expected numbers of the game birds when taking on a 15-year lease of the moor.

Judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh had previously rejected his damages claim.

But five judges at the Supreme Court said he was due compensation.

Mr Erskine, who made his fortune in frozen seafood, agreed in 2007 to lease the 11,000-acre (4,451 ha) Castle Grant Estate grouse moor near Grantown-on-Spey.

He believed it to be one of the most productive moors in Scotland at the time.

The businessman invested £500,00 making improvements to the moorland to increase its grouse populations.

However, after five years, he found grouse numbers were just a fraction of what he had been led to believe and sued the estate's trustees, including the Earl of Seafield.

In two previous hearings at the Court of Session judges had rejected Mr Erskine's damages claim.

But now five judges at the Supreme Court in London have ruled they were wrong to do so and Mr Erskine was entitled to compensation.

The court will decide on how much damages are due at a later date.

In a statement, Mr Erskine said he was pleased with the Supreme Court judgement.

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