Rottal an upland estate focussing everything we do on improving wildlife, biodiversity and habitats through restoring and re-naturalising rivers, burns, water margins, riparian planting, natural regeneration, native tree planting, wetland improvements, and flood mitigation and water quality improvements. The estate incomes come from renewal energy (hydro & biomass) sheep farming, holiday lets, events, shooting and stalking. Last year we restored 30 Ha of peatland as part of a scheme to restore 300 Ha over the next 5 years. which will carbon remains stored in the peatland and additional carbon is captured from the improved vegetation.
The main drivers for everything conducted on the estate is being sustainable as a bare minimum but preferably delivering net biodiversity gain over a number of metrics. Upland estates are key players in the upper reaches of the catchment and correct land management in the uplands will prevent floods and other consequences further downstream and will also deliver improved water quality and better habitat for breeding salmonids and invertebrates to improve the river's ecosystem.
Though the estate has done some great work re-meandering the Rottal Burn and making improvements on the South Esk, they realised that to really have an impact of flood mitigation and water quality as well as improving moorland health for ground nesting moorland birds such as waders, red and black grouse we needed to start at the top of the hill with the peatland. Rottal over 300 Ha of peatland that requires restoration either through bare peat restoration or through grip and ditch blocking. With the help of Peatland Action we chose a suitable 30Ha site that required both grip blocking and bare peat restoration. They waited until after the nesting season to start works to ensure minimal wildlife impacts and also had to work with NatureScot and Tayside Raptor Group with regards to a nesting Golden Eagle nearby.