Scottish Land & Estates has today welcomed a new report by Scottish Natural Heritage that reviews sustainable moorland management.
The report, which has received input from a wide range of industry stakeholders, provides an authoritative examination of four key issues:
- the development of a shared vision for Scotland’s moorland
- efforts to avoid moorland deterioration
- the need to plug evidence gaps through the development of a moorland habitat map
- developing management and stewardship systems across all areas of moorland management
Tim Baynes, Director of the Scottish Moorland Group, which is part of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “This report adds to the growing body of analysis that highlights the importance of moorland management.
“The report recognises the outstanding work of land managers and gamekeepers, and the defining role of management in shaping the exceptional environmental importance of these moorland areas.
“Ten recommendations are provided within the review and we will work with Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to deliver consensus on these issues.
“It is clear that Scottish Natural Heritage are determined to keep striving for best practice and through the Wildlife Estates Scotland scheme – which is recognised in the report – it is clear that much can be achieved by estates working towards accreditation.
“The evidential led approach of Scottish Natural Heritage comes in sharp contrast to a report written by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) on grouse shooting, which amounts to nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on estates by a land reform campaigner.
““The findings of the LACS report demonstrate a truly lamentable lack of understanding of grouse moor management and the important part it plays in looking after the uplands, including the suggestion that grouse shooting receives public subsidies, which it does not.
“We understand that certain pressure groups, fuelled by traffic to anonymous social media and blogs, are opposed to the existence of grouse shooting. However, it would be more helpful to the debate to deal with the facts, as provided in reviews such as that of Scottish Natural Heritage, rather than try to muddy the waters in an attempt to damage a sector that is so important to so many rural livelihoods.”
The Scottish Natural Heritage report is available to view at www.snh.gov.uk/land-and-sea/managing-the-land/upland-and-moorland/a-rich-variety/