Biodiversity in the Angus Glens

Glenogil Estate is situated within the beautiful highlands of Angus, positioned between Glen Clova and Glen Lethnot, and has been visited for the past three years by German scientists examining biodiversity in Scotland. The team studying the moor, led by Dr Daniel Hoffman, from the Game Conservancy Deutschland, have counted an extra 35 species since its first survey in 2015. This includes endangered “red list” birds such as curlew, lapwing, black grouse, merlin and mountain hares, the latter typically culled in some moors, but not at Glenogil. Dr Daniel Hoffman, said the numbers were entirely the result of habitat and predator management, in particular heather burning and the control of animals including foxes, crows and stoats.

The first two years of the project were concentrated on understanding the ecosystem of the grouse moor, all of it’s different areas and the habitat diversity. Special attention was paid to habitats used by the bird species, and as a result, 103 bird species have now been recorded. Not all the birds breed on the estate, but the environment provides nesting during migration and foraging for the wildlife, helping the numbers grow.

The main aim of the research was to demonstrate that you need good habitat management and predation control to ensure a high level of biodiversity of various species. The team at Glenogil are aware that land management is changing on moorland estates, especially for the gamekeepers, who often receive a lot of observation over their methods of conservation. Dr Hoffman’s work is helping prove that the methods of conservation are beneficial to preserving wildlife.

Danny Lawson, head gamekeeper at Glenogil Estate, said: “Land management, especially for gamekeepers on moorland estates, has never been under closer scrutiny. Much has changed in the sector over the last 15 years including at Glenogil, and it is only fair that we recognise where our management is creating a rich tapestry of wildlife".