Sir Peter Housden, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government and senior advisor to Alex Salmond and the cabinet.
On Friday 7th December Sir Peter spent the day with Scottish Land & Estates visiting two member estates south of Edinburgh, both with farming and game management interests. One estate is very much an upland farm and moorland estate and the other a low ground farming estate. The objective was to gain a better insight into, and understanding of, these businesses and the critical interdependencies that exist with such land use and management. This followed a visit to Glenfalloch estate earlier in the year.
The morning was spent at The Hopes, a grouse moor and upland farming operation, where Robbie Douglas-Miller (Lammermuir Moorland Group chairman) gave a presentation and tour of the moor and farming operation. That was followed by a presentation of Wildlife Estates Scotland. In the afternoon, Alastair Salvesen and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust gave a tour of Whitburgh Farms and its Grey partridge conservation project. Both visits highlighted some key points and constraints that span upland and lowland operations. A wide range of issues were covered with a clear theme that sporting management plays a key role in the viability of such businesses, contributing significantly to the rural economy, to conservation and as such deserve the active support of Government.