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Rural Estates Lead The Charge On Wildlife Conservation

Seven landowners scoop coveted ‘Wildlife Estates Scotland’ accreditations at The Scottish Game Fair

RURAL estate owners in Scotland are blazing a trail on positive land management for wildlife conservation.  Full Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation was this weekend awarded to seven diverse country estates at The Scottish Game Fair.  The newly accredited estates have all demonstrated a standard of excellence in land and sporting management that enhances wildlife conservation and encourages biodiversity through careful habitat management for Scotland’s wild animals and birds in line with rigorous and independent EU standards.  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

Alvie Estate near Aviemore was also recently recognised through an accreditation awarded by European Commissioner Janez Potocnik 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.

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 and sporting management that many of us take for granted is finally being officially recognised and held up for all to see”.

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.

“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.  All of the estates recognised today are doing a fantastic job working to promote balanced land management that at its core enhances our wildlife, their habitat and the natural environment for the next generation to enjoy and be proud of”. 

The initiative is one of the most important instruments currently influencing estate management in rural Scotland.

 

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