Whisky brand The Famous Grouse has now raised £600,000 for the RSPB’s conservation work for endangered grouse species throughout the UK.
The partnership was established in 2008 when the company launched a new whisky, The Black Grouse. It undertook to generate funds to help the RSPB save the new whisky’s feathered namesake by donating 50p from the sale of each bottle.
At that time, the birds were on the UK Red List of Species of Conservation Concern and listed as a priority on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. They were also included on the Scottish Government’s Species Action Framework.
The partnership reached the £100,000 mark in 2010, and the original three-year partnership was extended.
Last year the Black Grouse whisky was renamed The Famous Grouse Smoky Black and the company extended its partnership to the whole of it portfolio of whiskies, including the latest addition, The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold.
The Famous Grouse “has been the best-selling whisky in the home of Scotch whisky, Scotland since 1980” and is exported to over 100 countries.
Grouse numbers recovering
Stuart Housden, Director RSPB Scotland said:
“The primary cause of the decline in black grouse is degradation and fragmentation of their moorland and woodland habitats. Donations from The Famous Grouse have helped improve grouse habitats across 85,000 acres of nature reserve land, supported the planting of 185,000 native trees and the mowing of 30 hectares of heather.
“The fund has also helped purchase the Crannach nature reserve; a woodland and upland area on Deeside and within the Cairngorms National Park.”
He added that, during the partnership, there has been “a welcome upward trend in population numbers of black grouse across RSPB reserves in northern Scotland’. Indeed, the charity will be focusing more on southern Scotland where the black grouse numbers are in sharp decline.
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