Robert Rattray, head of the firm's sporting department, was pleased to report at our 2010 Spring Briefing that the sporting market is generally buoyant and looks to be following a similar pattern to last year.
Here is a summary of his findings given at the event.
"We are now well into our main letting period for 2010, and I'm pleased to say that with a few Caveats, the Sporting market is generally buoyant, and looks to be following a similar pattern to last year.
- Salmon fishing remains consistently popular, with strong demand for 2010.
- Rivers were well let last year, and despite the unstartling performance of many rivers in 2009, over the previous two seasons Scotland has firmly regained its status as a World Class Salmon Fishing destination.
- Demand from those taking Sporting Lodges has also been strong, underpinned by a core of regular tenants. Interestingly, we have also had good demand from less regular takers this year, who have decided that a Scottish Lodge is more affordable than a Continental Holiday, and certainly a lot less stressful in getting there.
- Stalking has become increasingly popular, with short breaks and single days outstripping the more traditional full week and lodge type package. This seems particularly true of overseas visitors who are happy to pay top prices for their stalking but prefer the economy of guest house or B & B type accommodation. One would have thought the strength of the Euro would have produced a flood of continental Sportsmen to Scotland, and although there has been an increase in overseas bookings, the mainstay is still from the UK. The market price for stags this year is in the region of 300 to 330 plus Vat.
- Scottish grouse shooting continues to be in high demand. Walked up grouse shooting is particularly sought after, and expect to pay up to 100 + Vat per brace.
- The market for driven grouse has remained generally buoyant despite the high cost. At 130 - 150 + Vat per brace, driven grouse are not for the faint hearted but those that enjoy it, and can afford it, will tell you that each grouse shot is certainly worth four or five pheasants.
- The 2009 season was patchy but in places excellent, with the Angus Glens and the Lammermuirs producing some of their best ever bags. The effect of this year's winter weather has yet to be ascertained, and the next month or so will give us a much clearer picture.
- The area that has been most affected is Pheasant and Partridge shooting. Understandably the corporate market in Scotland has contracted, but it has never dominated the market as it has in the South of England, and the bulk of our interest is from private Shooting Parties looking for 100 200 bird days. In many cases, Prices for 2010/2011 have not yet been finalized, but are likely to follow a similar pattern to last year.
- In summary, Prices generally are very much in line with last year, and if there is any change, there may be a degree more price sensitivity in the market, with sporting tenants much more conscious of getting value for their money, and keeping their options open until they find it.
- Overall, the sporting market remains strong, with the mainstay of demand from within the UK.
To keep up-to-date, our dedicated sporting website provides a regular round up throughout the season.