2015/16 Annual Report
Following on from the publication of our first report in 2015, we have collated a similar report covering properties accredited from 2015 to the beginning of 2016. The current report follows a similar format, setting out review commentary in line with the sections of our application process, covering:
- Land types and land use
- Best practice work
- Conservation projects
- Integration of game and wildlife management with farming, forestry, tourism and other activities
- Social, employment and cultural aspects
The report covers 11 properties varying in size from 400 hectares up to 12,000 hectares and are distributed across mainland Scotland.
A link to the 2015/16 report is set out below.Last Updated (Jan 27 2017)
Dumfriesshire Estate’s WES membership and accreditation
Following the conviction of a former employee for a wildlife crime, Newlands Estate is already suspended from both membership of Wildlife Estates Scotland and accreditation under the scheme. We note that the wildlife crime conviction has been upheld following appeal. The employee has ceased to be employed by Newlands Estate. To protect the reputation of its membership, as well as the integrity of accreditation itself, Wildlife Estates Scotland has determined that both membership and accreditation in this case should remain suspended.Last Updated (Jul 21 2016)
Walk & Talk in the Lammermuirs
A joint Scottish Land & Estates and Wildlife Estates Scotland Walk & talk event was held this month at the Hopes Estate on the edge of the Lammermuirs. Blessed by kind weather, guests first of all heard about the estate’s management, its links with Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation and what’s involved in achieving certification.
Hosted by Robbie Douglas Miller and organised by Scottish Land & Estates and Wildlife Estates Scotland, guests first heard from Robbie about the management of the Hopes and his keen interest in achieving WES accreditation. Outlining the land management work he and the team at the Hopes have focused on, Robbie also touched on some of the key public interest actions they have undertaken in recent years. He recognised that the political backdrop for landowners and managers was challenging but identified accreditation as a key response to demonstrate the range of public benefits that farms and estates can deliver.
Picking up on this theme, Ross Macleod from Wildlife Estates Scotland, provided the audience with a brief history of WES, its origins as a European initiative and the overlay of Scottish best practice guidance and legislation. He then described the key reasons why landowners and managers should consider accreditation, pointing out that this gives owners their own individual certification, provides evidence of sound practice and contributes information which is aggregated into the WES annual report. He provided examples from the annual report to indicate the range of information covered, including the condition of designated sites, species trends, investment in conservation activities, access-taking and employment on accredited properties. He then examined some of the factors that had been influential in the assessor’s award of accredited status to the Hopes, pointing to the planting of native woodland, juniper, peatland recovery and riparian management , alongside a significant array of bird and mammal species. Scottish Land & Estate Regional Manager, Rachael Wright, reminded guests about the importance of getting involved with WES and Scottish Land & Estates to ensure effective representation.
Walking out onto the edge of the Hopes Moorland, we were able to look at heather management, woodland planting, game cover crops and juniper recovery. This allowed for plenty of discussion with the Hopes management team, contributing to a very successful event. We are very grateful to Robbie, Ian and Julian for taking time out of their schedule to discuss their management and show us around the Hopes.Last Updated (Jul 21 2016)
WES certificate awards at the 2016 GWCT Scottish Game Fair
Seven Scottish farms and estates were awarded with accreditation certificates to recognise their ongoing work in wildlife management and conservation. The awards were made earlier this month at the Scottish Game Fair, held at Scone Palace.
The newly-accredited properties are very diverse in nature, with conservation management, native woodland recovery, tourism, commercial forestry, renewable energy, tourism, arable and livestock interests as well as deer management and sporting interests. All have recognised the importance of delivering public benefits in line with Scottish Land Use and Biodiversity strategies.
The farms and estates awarded accreditation are:-
• Ballogie Estate, Deeside (A mixed sporting estate with significant interests in commercial forestry)
• The MacRobert Trust, Deeside (Particular interests in the environment and its ecology and renewable energy technologies alongside a strong tenant farming focus)
• Garrogie Estate, Monadhliaths (Grouse, deer management, recovery of native birch woods)
• Moray Estates, Doune (Interests in renewable energy, forestry and farming alongside a close working relationship with the local community)
• Colquhalzie Estate, Perthshire (Arable, livestock and forestry integrated with a private shoot)
• Eskdale & Liddesdale Estate, Dumfriesshire (incorportating the Langholm Moor Demonstration project but with significant interests in farming and woodland management)
• Scone Estate, Perthshire (Significant interests in commercial arable farming, forestry and conservation management, alongside a substantial tourism business)
The completion of WES accreditation for these seven estates brings the total number of accredited farms and estates across Scotland to 38, covering nearly 950,000 acres.Last Updated (Jul 21 2016)
Wildlife Estates Scotland statement on Newlands Estate
Conditions of membership of Wildlife Estates Scotland include the requirements to maintain best practice standards of animal welfare and comply with all legal requirements and relevant Scottish codes of practice. Wildlife Estates Scotland’s position is that it will suspend membership if it is notified of a prosecution or of a breach of relevant legislation. The case of William Dick has been discussed with Newlands Estate, whose membership and accreditation under WES has been voluntarily suspended and will remain so until after further enquiries and any other legal proceedings have concluded.Last Updated (Sep 2 2015)
Wildlife Estates Scotland launches its first annual report
The GWCT Scottish Game Fair was the setting on Saturday 4th July for the launch of the first Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) annual report. Alongside the launch, representatives from recently accredited properties received accreditation certificates. WES Chairman Robbie Douglas Miller introduced proceedings, reflecting on why the scheme had been established and on keeping momentum going for its future development.
In summarising the main content of the report, Wildlife Estates Scotland Project Manager Ross Macleod recognised the participation of members in the scheme as vital for its development, not only in respect of their commitment to good practice, but also in terms of the information gained through the application process.
Some key areas of information covered by the report identify:
• 270,000 hectares of Scotland’s countryside under accredited management
• 62,000 hectares covered by designated sites, predominantly in favourable condition
• Information gathered on 120 species
• Conservation initiatives covering forestry, farmed landscape, upland management and predator control
• 689,000 visits per annum to WES accredited properties, including walking, cycling, wildlife watching, horse riding and water sports
• 535 Full Time Equivalent jobs provided by accredited properties, with key employment areas across tourism (35%) and game and wildlife management (23%)
A link to the report is set out below, which covers information from the farms and estates accredited up to the end of 2014.
Click here to download [10MB]Last Updated (Jul 8 2015)
Balmoral Estate awarded WES accreditation
Balmoral is now one of over 20 farms and estates to have achieved accreditation in Scotland. Traditionally managed for red deer stalking, grouse shooting and salmon fishing, the Estate also contains important SPA and SAC designations which form a key part and responsibility of overall management. The assessors noted Balmoral’s particular attention to monitoring and implementation of best practice.
Richard Gledson, Balmoral’s resident factor, said: “We are delighted that the Estate has been awarded WES accreditation. It marks the culmination of a long process to ensure Balmoral meets the high standards of the scheme and I am very pleased on behalf of everyone on the Estate who has worked hard to apply best practice in game and wildlife conservation.
“That process will continue apace with the full support of the Royal Family, who are thrilled by this award. We look forward to working with Wildlife Estates Scotland to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to accreditation and hope we can play our part in promoting the objectives of the scheme to other estates across the country.”
Robbie Douglas Miller, chairman of WES, said: “The Wildlife Estates Scotland project has been going from strength to strength since its inception four years ago and we are delighted that Balmoral has now been awarded accreditation.
“As with all the accredited estates, Balmoral has shown great commitment to the requirements of WES. This has happened because landowners genuinely want to play their part in helping our game and wildlife to flourish in well managed habitat. We look forward to Balmoral’s example providing further impetus for more and more estates to become involved in the WES project.”Last Updated (Dec 8 2014)
Further WES awards made
We were delighted to make further accreditation awards over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd August. Ross Macleod from WES called in to hand over an Accreditation certificate to Allargue Estate. Family-run Allargue balances sporting management with initiatives for recovery of old Lodgepole Pine plantings for better habitat, Black Grouse and Red Squirrel conservation, refurbishment of property for tourism and micro-hydro for electricity. The mix of activities undertaken and the resourcefulness shown by this owner-occupied Estate demonstrates what can be achieved!
Over the hill at Moy Game Fair on Saturday, Reay Forest Factor, Dougal Lindsay, and Head Keeper, David Alison, were on hand to receive their accreditation certificate. The assessors were particularly impressed with the importance the Estate attaches to planning, particularly for Deer and Woodland Management. Game and wildlife plans are delivered on the ground by a dedicated keepering team, committed to looking after the wide variety of species found on the Estate including Golden Eagles, as well as Red and Black throated Divers. The Estate also provides significant angling opportunities, helping to retain employment in NW Sutherland.
View on Facebook: Wildlife Estates Scotland WESLast Updated (Aug 5 2013)
Further WES accreditation awards
Wildlife Estates Scotland Accreditation awards made at GWCT Scottish Game Fair
Full Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation was this weekend awarded to seven large country estates at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair. The newly accredited estates have demonstrated a standard of excellence in land management that encourages biodiversity in line with the WES assessment requirements. The successful estates are as follows:
- STRACATHRO ESTATE NEAR BRECHIN, ANGUS;
- LOCH CHOIRE, SUTHERLAND;
- ATHOLL ESTATE, PITLOCHRY;
- GLENLIVET ESTATE, MORAY;
- ALLARGUE ESTATE, NEAR STRATHDON;
- EDINGLASSIE, ABERDEENSHIRE;
- RSPB ABERNETHY NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE
Wildlife Estates Scotland Chairman Robbie Douglas Miller commented:
“Today’s accreditations demonstrate a healthy mix of landowners in Scotland working together for the future of our wildlife. While private landowners manage Atholl, Loch Choire, Allargue Edinglassie and Stracathro Estates, the RSPB are owners at Abernethy and the Crown Estate is responsible for Glenlivet in Moray. Privately owned estates and nature reserve managers are working extremely hard every day to support rural communities through successful business and now their exceptional work in wildlife management that many of us take for granted is finally being officially recognised and held up for all to see”.Last Updated (Jul 5 2013)
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