CAMPAIGNERS are stepping-up pressure on Yorkshire Water to stop leasing moorland for grouse shooting.

More than 260 people signed petition postcards in Haworth.

The session was part of a series being staged at towns and cities across the county this summer, in a campaign led by Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire's Moors (BBYM) and the League Against Cruel Sports.

The groups claim that grouse shooting on Yorkshire Water uplands, including Haworth and Stanbury moors, is damaging wildlife and habitats.

Luke Steele, for BBYM, said: "We thank the people of Haworth for their support.

"Huge sections of uplands owned by the company across the region are being purged of native wildlife and having peatland habitat degraded to increase game bird numbers for shooting.

"If Yorkshire Water wants to be recognised as taking its environmental responsibilities seriously, then ending its grouse shooting leases is the only course of action which will suffice."

But the company says it does take its environmental responsibilities "very seriously" and that shooting is a complex issue which it considers extremely carefully.

Paul Carter, the firm's political engagement manager, added: "In recent years we have been working with a wide range of stakeholders to tackle a variety of water quality and environmental issues.

"Our partners in delivering this work include the owners and tenants of shooting rights, both on our land and on land owned by others. This collaborative approach has made great progress and has enabled us to jointly deliver innovative projects which deliver for everyone with an interest in land management.

"Our view is that taking a confrontational approach by banning shooting in the areas where we control the rights would have less benefit than working together.

"There are significant areas of our land where we don't control the shooting rights and therefore where we have no control over such activities.

"Working in partnership means we have been able to make meaningful improvements to water quality and the environment in these areas. Taking a more confrontational approach could significantly impact our ability to deliver these projects and environmental improvements, harming the environment and delivering less for our customers.

"Our ultimate aim is to ensure that we deliver the best possible environmental outcomes on our land. At the current time we believe this aim is best served by working together with all stakeholders in partnership."