Wildlife Estates Scotland appoints new project officerPress Release
A new project officer has been appointed by Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) as the land management scheme aims to double its accredited acres.
Caroline Pringle, an experienced environmental consultant, joins WES following five years at ITPEnergised, where she managed environmental impact assessments and due diligence projects for clients in the energy industry.
The appointment comes as the WES project leadership aims to increase the number of accredited acres in Scotland from 1.25million to 2.5million by 2023.
WES is a national version of the EU Wildlife Estates (WE) label and Scotland currently sits second in the overall league table of nations, with only Spain ahead on approximately 1.6million acres.
WES was developed in Scotland by rural business organisation Scottish Land & Estates and the scheme’s new Advisory Board and Technical Committee has a broad spectrum of representation from organisations including SNH, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, RSPB, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust as well as the Scottish Government.
Caroline Pringle, Project Officer at Wildlife Estates Scotland, said: “Wildlife Estates Scotland is designed to illustrate and quantify the ongoing efforts of landowners, in terms of integrating the conservation of biodiversity into everyday land uses and to ensure compliance with best practice.
“Fifty seven farms and estates have achieved Level 2 accreditation, which is a rigorous process overseen by independent accreditors. I’ve been impressed so far by the commitment of existing and potential accredited members to ensure their land management can benefit wildlife and habitat and I’m hoping my knowledge and experience can be utilised as we seek to substantially grow WES over future years.”
Dee Ward, SLE Vice Chairman, said: “WES encompasses a wide range of accredited landholdings, from farms and mixed estates to those with primarily sporting interests. Despite the wide range of land uses, all of these types of landholdings have a common awareness that pursuing best practice in integrative land management can actively enhance biodiversity, whilst, simultaneously operating an efficient and profitable business.
“We’re delighted to have Caroline on board as we seek to promote WES to a wider demographic. We should be proud of achieving more than 1.25million acres so far, but there is potential to go significantly further.
“With an increasing focus on managing land in an environmentally sound manner – including the prospect of future public support for land management being tied to an ability to demonstrate delivery of public goods – an accreditation scheme such as WES is increasingly important in promoting sustainable practices across a range of land uses. Land managers want to play their part in supporting strategies such as carbon capture and flood mitigation and in doing so, helping the Scottish Government deliver on their policy targets.
“Many people are surprised to witness the sheer variety of wildlife present on these farms and estates, in particular birdlife, from waders and songbirds to raptors and black grouse. Much of this is a result of good management practices as well as maintenance of trees, hedgerows, wetland and moorland. This can all be achieved whilst running a vibrant land-based business.”