Scotland is renowned for its wildlife and its landscapes. It differs from other European countries in that wildlife and sporting management have been second only to farming as key determinants of land use over very large areas of the countryside for many generations.
Hunting (deer stalking and game shooting) and fishing are two of the oldest forms of sustainable land use, making use of the renewable resources provided by the natural and managed environment. These forms of wildlife management, the country sports tourism
they attract and the foods they supply, are of great economic importance for Scotland’s rural economies (see PACEC report on Country Sports
). They are socially important to many of our communities and have a strong influence on our valued landscapes.
Active and positive wildlife management based on the ability to deploy a range of legitimate measures designed to either enhance the survival and productivity of certain species, or to manage their behaviour or population so as to reduce negative impacts on other species or interests, is central to the concept of “conservation through wise use”. This is essential to supporting the harvesting of a sustainable surplus of some kinds of wildlife.
It is widely recognised that the diversity of wildlife and its populations can be significantly higher on such managed ground compared to unmanaged areas (see GWCT reports on Waders on the Fringe, Singing Fields, Nature’s Gain
Members of Scottish Land & Estates take great pride in their contribution as “producers” of fauna, flora and landscapes through wise management and can be considered as “solutions providers” for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable land use. We believe in the principle of adaptive management which we feel needs to be embedded in how we manage our wildlife in Scotland.
More information is available in our Wildlife Estates Scotland section (with sign up papers), Scottish Natural Heritage
and the Moorland Forum website