Seven Scottish landholdings gain prestigious wildlife conservation accreditation

Press Release


Seven Scottish farms and estates – accounting for nearly 170,000 acres - have been awarded prestigious international accreditation to recognise their ongoing work in wildlife management and conservation.

The award of Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) accreditation was made at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair, with Màiri McAllan MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Environment and Land Reform, presenting the accolades.

One new accreditation was made with a further six properties receiving reaccreditation, a process that takes place every five years.

The new accreditation was awarded to:

  • Glenlyon Estate, Perthshire

The six reaccreditations were presented to:

  • Balmoral Estate, Deeside
  • Candacraig Estate, West Aberdeenshire
  • Dougarie Estate, Isle of Arran
  • Glendoe Estate, nr Fort Augustus
  • Sorn Estate, East Ayrshire
  • Tulchan Estate, Moray

WES is a national version of the international Wildlife Estates (WE) initiative and is endorsed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Environment, whose objective is to protect, preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations.

Just over a decade since WES was established, Scotland currently sits second in the league table of Wildlife Estates accredited land on 1.25 million acres, with only Spain ahead on approximately 1.6 million acres. WES is aiming to double accredited land to 2.5 million acres. Between them, WES accredited landholdings have stewardship of 99 nationally protected sites (SSSI, NNR) and 79 internationally designated sites (SAC, SPA, Ramsar etc).

Environment and Land Reform Minister Màiri McAllan said: “These new accreditations are well-earned and well deserved – they demonstrate commitment to delivering environmental, economic and social benefits to rural communities including increasing biodiversity, providing healthy food products such as venison and bringing Scotland’s people closer to our beautiful natural environment. 

“Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) plays a vital role in ensuring habitat and wildlife management continues to align with best practice across Scotland.”

Dee Ward, chair of Wildlife Estates Scotland, said: “WES accreditation is a meticulous process that asks those in charge of managing land to strive for the highest standards of wildlife and conservation management.

“These farms and estates are undertaking exceptionally important work, benefiting our environment and biodiversity. It is pleasing that this work, often undertaken at significant cost to businesses, can be publicly acknowledged through WES.

“The accredited properties are diverse, both in location and the sectors they are involved in. However, they have all demonstrated a common approach to best practice and provide a broad range of information, including species data and conservation projects, which helps to provide significant insight on what is working well and where our collective conservation efforts need to be targeted.”