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Grouse provides a different kind of property investment opportunity

As the Glorious Twelfth kicks off the grouse hunting season in the UK a new report from Savills shows that despite grouse having always been a game of chance there are still buyers willing to take on the risk of ownership.

'Timber, sheep and deer may produce an annual return but in terms of capital value a well stocked grouse moor will still outperform the value of most other moorland based enterprises and, of course, it provides the finest game shooting in the world,' explained Roddy d'Anyers Willis of Savills office in Brechin, Scotland.

In its fifth issue of Grouse Moor News, Savills reveals that despite the credit crunch there is still a shortage of good quality moors coming to the market. This is unlikely to change in the near future according to William Duckworth-Chad of Savills country department.

The prospect in some areas of another better than average season could well mean that owners choose to hang onto their assets a little longer. This dearth of sales makes putting a value on the freehold of a moor quite challenging but Duckworth-Chad suggests £4500 per brace in England and between £3500 and £4000 per brace in Scotland as a sensible benchmark.

The report also points out that disease and the weather are the two greatest influences on grouse populations and one of the biggest dilemmas facing estates in Scotland at the moment is weighing up being able to offer mixed sporting against the problems that deer bring in terms of enabling large tick populations to thrive.

A look at the economics of grouse with deer, deer alone and grouse alone demonstrates that those owning a moor with driven grouse potential should focus on grouse. 'Investment will be required, but, in terms of both revenue and capital value, grouse have the potential to outperform deer by a very long way,' the report says.