Ian, Damascus and Lagopus - sorry for the slow response, but thanks so much for your information on modern grouse management. It is very encouraging to hear that moors are valued and managed for more than just grouse these days; when I watched the shooting videos linked on anther recent post, I could not imagine that those clouds of birds could be produced without drastic predator control. Glad to hear I was wrong, and that more holistic management is compatible with productive shooting.
I do predator conservation work on ranches in Kenya, and while most of those guys are pretty good conservationists, some of the most influential ones are still wholly immersed in the 19th century gamekeeper mentality - you essentially farm the 'good' animals (ones tourists pay to see) and shoot the 'bad' animals, the ones which might eat the good ones. Lions are doing okay, but hyenas and leopards still catch hell.