ROYAL Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland President and owner of Alvie Estate – Jamie Williamson – was today (Thursday) awarded the first ever accreditation certificate under the Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) initiative. Jamie was presented with the award by European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potocnik, in a special presentation at the Royal Highland Show in Ingliston.
The WES initiative was developed from a European Union scheme to drive forward higher standards of conservation and environmental stewardship. Focused on game and wildlife management, WES was established to create a transparent system which demonstrates how land and estate owners can deliver multiple benefits to rural Scotland aligning closely with the Scottish Government’s developing Land Use Strategy.
WES was founded by Scottish Land & Estates with support from Scottish Natural Heritage, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland and the Cairngorms National Park Authority. It has been supported from the beginning by the Scottish Government and 250 estates have pledged to become fully accredited members of the initiative.
Luke Borwick, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates commented:
"Accreditation through Wildlife Estates Scotland is testimony to the commitment shown by our members to proving their management practices meet the best interests of biodiversity and a thriving rural economy.
“I would like to congratulate Jamie on being the first estate owner to achieve full accreditation and look forward to many more members following in his footsteps.
“All estates involved in WES are independently assessed under the scheme and accreditation means an estate must have demonstrated that conservation, biodiversity, good game management practices and a strong management plan are all at the heart of what that property does. Jamie Williamson and his team at Alvie Estate have worked hard to achieve this first coveted accreditation award.”
The initiative is one of the most important instruments currently influencing estate management in rural Scotland since accredited estates must demonstrate industry-leading best practice.