Roxburghe Estates

Roxburgh Estates gains coveted Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation

Press Release

Roxburghe Estates has become the latest rural business to be presented with national accreditation recognising its outstanding work on wildlife, habitat and conservation management.

Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation was presented to the Duke of Roxburghe and estate factor Roddy Jackson by Scottish Land & Estates chairman David Johnstone at this weekend’s Border Union Show at Kelso.

WES is a national version of the EU Wildlife Estates (WE) label and was developed by Scottish Land & Estates with advice from Scottish Natural Heritage, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Cairngorms National Park Authority. It has also received the support of the Scottish Government since its launch.

A diverse property covering a spectacular area of around 52,000 acres, Roxburghe Estates encompasses land from grassy slopes of the Cheviot Hills and the heather clad moorland of the Lammermuirs to the fertile land of the Tweed valley. 

Land management activity encompasses farming, forestry and sporting and the award has been made following a rigorous accreditation process, which demonstrates that the estate is observing best practice in its management regime. The estate has also built information on species and their habitats, wildlife management, conservation projects and integration with other land uses to monitor continuous improvement.

Recent conservation projects undertaken by Roxburghe include a five-year programme to enhance biodiversity and habitat on moorland at Byrecleugh and Rawburn, benefiting birds such as curlew, lapwing and snipe and in particular, black grouse. The estate has also been developing a project to restore grey partridge numbers on lowground at Roxburgh, with 43 pairs in 2012 building to 127 pairs by 2017.

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “It is only right that the excellent game, wildlife and habitat management that takes place on our farms and estates is recognised publicly. 

“Owners and managers of WES accredited estates and farms should be proud of the work they have done, often over many years, to enhance their land for wildlife and encourage the many species that now live there. WES requires evidence about 70 named species, which provides an insight into how land in rural areas can be managed for the good of the nation’s wildlife and also enables best practice to be shared.  My congratulations go to Roxburghe for the accreditation they have worked tirelessly to achieve.”

Roddy Jackson, Factor at Roxburghe Estates, said: “The award of WES accreditation is significant testament to the hard work of all the staff across the estate. We encourage best practice in all the different aspects of estate management but the accreditation scheme encourages us to not only set higher goals but also ensure we record and can amply demonstrate the excellent work that is already being undertaken.

“The conservation and habitat projects we’ve been working on have been hugely beneficial to both the estate and to local wildlife and we’re delighted a scheme such as WES can help us document what we have been doing.

“We are pleased to receive the accreditation and will be delighted to share our knowledge of the process to help other farms and estates working towards this goal.”