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%), game and wildlife management (23%)
The full report, which covers information from the farms and estates accredited up to the end of 2014, can be found on the Wildlife Estates Scotland website here - http://www.wildlife-estates.co.uk/latest-news/