Policy & Lobbying
Species Reintroduction
SLE’s key message on species re-introductions is that “while recognising and supporting the biodiversity benefits that reintroduction and translocations can deliver, any proposal needs to be considered against the impact on existing land-based businesses”. As such, we are not against re-introductions per se; we are keen that any species re-introductions should be pursued in the correct way and take account of the potential impacts with those impacts mitigated where necessary. 

Sea Eagle:
  • Scottish Land & Estates represents the interests of members on the Sea Eagle Management Group. Between 1975 and 1985 82 young sea eagles were reintroduced to Scotland on Rum. A second reintroduction programme took place between 1993 and 1998 concentrating on the north and west Scottish Highlands. Finally, in 2007 a five-year release programme began in Fife to try and re-establish the species in the east of Scotland.  The species is listed under the SNH Species Action framework and therefore it is a high priority for conservation and management measures.
  • Scottish Natural Heritage operates a Sea Eagle Management Scheme which is open to applicants managing land within the vicinity of breeding sea eagles.  The scheme is operated on behalf of the Sea Eagle Partnership, of which Scottish Land & Estates is a part.  The scheme is open to applicants until 31st August 2011, with a further application period from 1st to 31st October 2011.  Further application periods will be announced each year until Autumn 2013 when the scheme closes.  The scheme booklet and application form are available on Scottish Natural Heritage's website.      
  • SLE is a member of the Scottish Beaver Forum and is involved in the development of a management framework for the species which will allow beaver to be managed to prevent serious damage to land uses such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries. 
  • While SLE recognise and supports the biodiversity benefits beavers can bring, the proposal to allow beavers to remain in Scotland needs to be considered against the impact on existing land-based businesses with those impacts mitigated where necessary. It should not be the case that conservation benefits are solely promoted without recognising the consequences on a working countryside
  • SLE wish to be clear that in order prevent serious damage to land uses (agriculture, forestry & fisheries) it is paramount that the reintroduction policy is fully supported by a comprehensive management framework and that appropriate long-term funding mechanisms are put in place to help land managers mitigate beaver damage. 
  • In November 2016, SLE, NFUS, RZSS, SWT wrote a joint letter to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform to set out the broad principles and key components of what an appropriate management regime should be. This letter can be viewed here. 

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