Scotland is an internationally renowned destination for country sports such as stalking, shooting and fishing, all of which are steeped in traditional and culture of the country.
Well-managed country sports are a vital part of the rural economy and deliver a wide range of environmental and societal benefits. The sector provides 4400 FTE jobs and delivers benefits to species such as waders and heather. The country sports tourism sector has been estimated to be worth £155 million.
Members are responsible for the management of deer numbers on their land and often work as part of collaborative management groups with their neighbours to ensure populations are at the optimal level to ensure a healthy population and do not cause damage to the land.
SLE supports members to work in line with best practice guidance. This includes the Code of Good Shooting Practice, The British Game Alliance Standards, and Moorland Management Best Practice. SLE also supports the work of the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group.
General Licences for 2021
As of 1 January 2021, new general licenses are in force. The 2021 general licences are broadly similar to those issued in 2020, with no changes to target species. The linked below provide further information, which is available on NatureScot's website.
- GL 01/2021: To kill or take certain birds for the conservation of wild birds.
- GL 02/2021: To kill or take certain birds for the prevention of serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit.
- GL 03/2021: To kill or take certain birds for the preservation of public health, public safety and preventing the spread of disease
- GL 14/2021: To use certain traps to kill stoats for the conservation of wild birds or for the prevention of serious damage to livestock.