The Heather Trust Sale

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Can’t resist a brief mention of the fact that the Heather Trust’s auction is now live. I generally try to avoid harping on about work too much on this blog, but there are two lots which warrant special attention from a Working for Grouse perspective.

1 – Lot 806 –  The Black Grouse, by Patrick Laurie

I’ve donated a copy of my book on black grouse to the Heather Trust sale for the past four years, and I’m always flattered to see people bidding on it. I wrote the Black Grouse in the summer of 2010 when I was in the first throes of my obsession with the subject, and the book was published in full technicolor in 2012 by Merlin Unwin.

As several reviewers pointed out, this whole writing project was a labour of love. I would write a very different book on the subject today with almost seven years of additional experience and hindsight, but I stand by the book not as a definitive textbook on the subject (which it was never meant to be) but as a young person’s first encounters with the magic of the hills. I am proud of it, and it may be that there will soon be a second book to follow it…

The signed edition I have on my bookshelf is currently sitting at £20 on the auction site, including P&P. Hard to say fairer than that.

2 – Lot 401 – “Tour the Moor” – Perthshire

This was a new idea for the Heather Trust auction 2017, and it is based on an extraordinary trip I had into the hills above Dunkeld in 2015. I had to meet renowned headkeeper and SGA front man Ronnie Kippen to discuss some things for work, and instead of talking through our notes at his kitchen table, we went off up the hill in his landrover.

It was late April, and the moor was literally buzzing with wildlife. We saw black grouse by the dozen and drove within arm’s reach of golden plover, barn owls, mountain hares and curlews. After a couple of hours my head was swimming, and Ronnie’s enthusiastic commentary provided ample food for thought.

Ronnie and his employer have generously donated a tour of the hill for four people to match the one I enjoyed in 2015, and I can’t over-emphasise how interesting and exciting this lot would be. It’s currently at £100, which, divided between four, is an extraordinary bargain.


Of course there are plenty of other good Lots on the auction website, but these two have particular significance for me. There’s no “hard sell” here, but have a look if you get a moment.



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