Farms & estates lead the charge on wildlife conservation
Eight Scottish estates have been awarded prestigious international accreditation to recognise their ongoing work in wildlife management and conservation.
WES is a national version of the EU Wildlife Estates (WE) initiative and is endorsed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Environment, whose objective is to protect, preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations.
The estates awarded accreditation are:-
- Horseupcleuch Estate, Lammermuir Hills
- Glenfalloch Estate, Crianlarich
- Glenmuick Estate, near Ballater
- Edinglassie Estate, Huntly
- Tulchan Estate, near Grantown on Spey
- Hopetoun Estates, South Queensferry
- Altyre Estate, Forres
- Dalhousie Estates, Angus
The recently accredited estates have all have undergone a rigorous independent assessment of their game, wildlife and habitat management, as well as their social and economic contribution to rural life. All properties are expected to maintain these standards throughout the lifetime of accreditation. With the launch of its first annual report, WES now creates a transparent system which sets a benchmark demonstrating what, and how land managers can deliver multiple benefits to rural Scotland, supporting the Scottish Government’s developing Land Use Strategy.
The completion of WES accreditation for these eight estates brings the total number of accredited farms and estates across Scotland to 28, covering nearly 750,000 acres.
Wildlife Estates Scotland Chairman Robbie Douglas Miller said: “It is pleasing to award accreditation to eight new estates, highlighting more of the outstanding conservation work being carried out by farms and estates across Scotland.
“We have just launched the first annual report of Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) and it is clear that WES is providing greater visibility on species, habitats and conservation measures being undertaken by land managers. We seek information on 70 named species, which allows us a range of insights including the benefits of conservation efforts and even climate change indicators.
“We are also seeing landowners being challenged by WES to take their positive management a step further.
“The newly accredited estates are diverse in nature but they all share a desire to work exceptionally hard for the good of the nation’s wildlife at the same time as sustaining their own business activities. It is pleasing that their efforts in wildlife management - that is sometimes taken for granted - is being recognised more widely.”
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.