The development of the guidelines was subdivided into four phases:
- Introductory workshop: At the beginning of the project in April 2003 an introductory international workshop took place in the Southern Black Forest, Germany. In presentations and interdisciplinary work teams the different stakeholder groups (nature protection, grouse protection, tourism forestry and agriculture, as well as hunting) analysed the topic ’Grouse and Tourism’ from their own perspectives and identified different topics and potential conflicts. The different conditions found in the three research regions (Great Britain, Central Europe and Scandinavia) were indentified and the resulting demands on guidelines were defined.
- Working groups: At the first meeting working groups on the aforementioned topics (nature protection, grouse protection, tourism, forestry and agriculture and hunting) were formed. Experts from all three research regions participated in each team. Over the coming 1 ½ years these teams developed ideas for guidelines from the viewpoint of the respective stakeholder group. The team members communicated with each other through e-mail or at workshops organised for that purpose.
- Final meeting: The different teams presented their proposals for guidelines at the final meeting, which took place in the Syöte National Park, Finland, in September 2004. In interdisciplinary working groups the guidelines were discussed, modified and amended.
- Coordination and Publication: After the final meeting, guidelines were formulated with the agreement of all participants. The results were published on a website (www.grouse-tourism.de). A communication forum was installed to serve as a platform for discussions and the exchange of information among project participants, scientists and professionals.