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Coverhead Moor

Coverhead Moor

Coverhead Moor

STORY BY Roger Catchpole
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Terry Allen

Coverhead Moor

STORY BY Roger Catchpole
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Terry Allen

Coverhead Moor

STORY BY Roger Catchpole
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Terry Allen
‘‘

An excerpt…Located at the head of Coverdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, in the North West of England, Coverhead Moor lies at an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 feet, and the dramatic estate spans three sides of the watershed. Since acquiring Coverhead Moor in 1985, the Mawle family has invested in improvements to the property and has worked to enhance the quality of the heather that is so vital to the wild red grouse population.

I arrived at Coverhead Farm at midday, meeting the rest of the team and starting with a relaxed lunch. We stayed at the recently restored Hunters’ Hall, which was originally built as a hunting lodge for King Charles I.

After lunch we loaded into the estate shoot trailer and headed off to the moor. This first afternoon would provide our team the opportunity to practice safe and efficient driven-grouse shooting, through realistic simulated grouse presented over two purpose-built stone grouse butts, and the chance to learn about the habits and habitat of this wonderful gamebird. The Coverhead Moor is classified as blanket bog. This means the moorland has a wet peat base, with sphagnum moss and cotton grass peppering the heather sward, all of which are essential components of grouse breeding and successful chick survival. Combine habitat management with predator control and it becomes apparent why a grouse moor gamekeeper will likely refer to the shooting season as the easiest time on the calendar. The rest of a keeper’s year consists of hard work—often single-handed labor to help the grouse survive if not thrive.

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Coverhead Moor

An excerpt…Located at the head of Coverdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, in the North West of England, Coverhead Moor lies at an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 feet, and the dramatic estate spans three sides of the watershed. Since acquiring Coverhead Moor in 1985, the Mawle family has invested in improvements to the property and has worked to enhance the quality of the heather that is so vital to the wild red grouse population.

I arrived at Coverhead Farm at midday, meeting the rest of the team and starting with a relaxed lunch. We stayed at the recently restored Hunters’ Hall, which was originally built as a hunting lodge for King Charles I.

After lunch we loaded into the estate shoot trailer and headed off to the moor. This first afternoon would provide our team the opportunity to practice safe and efficient driven-grouse shooting, through realistic simulated grouse presented over two purpose-built stone grouse butts, and the chance to learn about the habits and habitat of this wonderful gamebird. The Coverhead Moor is classified as blanket bog. This means the moorland has a wet peat base, with sphagnum moss and cotton grass peppering the heather sward, all of which are essential components of grouse breeding and successful chick survival. Combine habitat management with predator control and it becomes apparent why a grouse moor gamekeeper will likely refer to the shooting season as the easiest time on the calendar. The rest of a keeper’s year consists of hard work—often single-handed labor to help the grouse survive if not thrive.

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