Highlands & Islands

Country sports worth £155m to Scotland's rural economy

grouse moor Image copyright Getty Images

Scotland's rural economy secretary has hailed the value of country sports after the latest figures showed they were worth £155m.

Fergus Ewing was speaking ahead of the start of the grouse shooting season as he attended the Highland Field Sports Fair, near Inverness.

Tourism from field sports - such as shooting, stalking and fishing - all contribute to the Scottish economy.

Forecasters predict revenue from rural sports will grow to £185m by 2020.

Mr Ewing said: "Our tourism sector is a vital strand of the rural economy and country sports represent a significant proportion of this.

"Field sports are a huge draw, with both domestic and foreign audiences enjoying the wealth of world-class opportunities available in Scotland.

"Forecasts suggest this area is set to continue to grow over the coming years, which will bring further gains to rural communities in terms of employment and economic benefits."

Known as The Glorious Twelfth, 12 August traditionally marks the start of the annual grouse shooting season.

Sarah Troughton, chairwoman of the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group, said: "Country sports in Scotland are truly world-class and have international appeal thanks to the unique and evocative combination of sport, scenery and hospitality that is truly unrivalled.

"There is currently a really strong attraction for European visitors and this is expected to contribute to an increase in the value of country sports tourism in Scotland from its current value of £155m to around £185m by 2020."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The first day of the grouse shooting season is traditionally known as the Glorious Twelfth

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