SHOOTING on Ilkley Moor will not make any profit and will only take place on a few days a year.
That's the prediction of the head of a partnership set to bring grouse shooting back to the famous landmark.
Edward Bromet, a leading figure in the Bingley Moor Partnership, and recently appointed chairman of national body The Moorland Assoc-iation, has outlined the partnership's plans for helping to manage the landscape and run commercial grouse shoots.
The organisation already manages the neighbouring Bingley and Burley moors and runs grouse shoots there.
Last week, landowner, Brad-ford Council, announced that the partnership had won the bid to run grouse shooting on the landmark moor for ten years.
The contract means they will provide practical help with restoring the heather moorland, and a give Ilkley Moor its own gamekeeper.
Mr Bromet believes it could be two years before shoots take place because of the low grouse population.
And even when habitats are improved and boasting a healthy population of the birds, there will only be shoots on a few days of the year, between August 12 and late October.
"A requirement of the lease is that we have a fully dedicated gamekeeper on Ilkley Moor," said Mr Bromet.
"That gamekeeper will be carrying out all sorts of functions. Part of that is pest and predator management to improve the stocks of all ground nesting birds.
"There will be assistance with heather burning between October and early April, working in conjunction with Bradford Council and within the Ilkley Moor Management Plan."
The time taken to restore the grouse population will eat into the partnership's ten-year lease, and with shooting on so few days a year when it finally does begin, the shoots are not likely to be a money-spinner for the organisation.
Mr Bromet said: "There's certainly not going to be profits, if anything we will be losing money."
Grouse stocks on the neighbouring moors will also benefit from the pest and predator control on Ilkley Moor.
Mr Bromet pointed out that holding shoots is the incentive for putting the cash and resources into the moor - without it, Bradford Council would have no help with maintaining the landscape, tackling bracken, and healing the areas scorched in the 2006 fire.
The shoots themselves are most likely to take place mid-week, when there will be fewer walkers on the moor, says Mr Bromet.
Because the moor itself cannot be closed off the public, a large team of beaters will surround the area of the shoot and inform walkers that there is a shoot inside of that area, in compliance with careful health and safety guidelines.
He stresses that control of species such as foxes and crows will be done by legal means, and by highly skilled and specially trained gamekeepers.