A 'WALK for Wildlife' will be held on Ilkley Moor this weekend by anti grouse shooting campaigners.

Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor (BBIM) is holding the event on Saturday to protest against the start of the shooting season.

Grouse shooting at the beauty spot this year begins on Wednesday, and will run through to December 10.

Campaigners will meet at the Cow and Calf Rocks, off Hangingstone Road, at 11am before heading onto the moor for a ramble and picnic.

BBIM spokesman, Luke Steele, said: "Ilkley Moor is the last public moorland in the country where grouse shooting is still allowed.

"This results in moor users feeling threatened by gunfire, wildlife suffering and protected upland habitat being damaged by management practices, including burning, which harms blanket bog.

"Bradford Council needs to move with the times, like every other local authority that owns moorland has done, and immediately withdraw from its cruel, damaging and unworkable grouse shooting deed.

"Ilkley Moor must be a place for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive, not a firing range."

The group is also vowing to continue its campaign into the grouse shooting season, with volunteers joining its DalesWildlife Patrol to monitor shoots.

It says the patrol will be looking for any signs of breaches of the law, including the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which aims to censor unnecessary suffering of animals, and the Open Spaces Act 1906.

BBIM, meanwhile, has just put up scores of signs to warn moor users about the shoots, something it has been calling on Bradford Council – which has granted shooting rights to the Bingley Moor Partnership until 2018 – to do.

Mr Steele added: "Bradford Council refuses to advertise that shooting is taking place, so we saw it as our duty to do it for them."

The calls to ban grouse shooting on the moor were recently backed by more than 1,000 people in a petition, and are being supported by comedian and ornithologist, Bill Oddie.

But in February this year, Bradford Council ruled shooting could continue until at least 2018, when its ten-year arrangement with the Partnership – worth up to £10,000 a year to the local authority – ends.

Partnership chairman, Edward Bromet, hailed the "entirely sensible" decision at the time, saying it would help "conserve Ilkley Moor properly for the future".

The Moorland Association has also spoken in favour of the shoots, claiming other ground-nesting birds, including lapwings and curlews, benefitted greatly from the 'predator control' that was carried out as a result.