1 July 2011

Scottish landowners urged to 'answer the call' of wildlife

‘Answer the call’ of wildlife. That is the challenge being laid down to land and estate owners by Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) and the Scottish Government at today’s (Friday) Game Fair. Over 200 farms and estates have signed up to the WES initiative since it was launched last November. Today marks the start of a pilot project involving the six Scottish estates of Atholl, Abernethy, Allargue, Alvie, Glenlivet and Edinglassie which will put the ten key commitments of WES into practice.

WES is an industry-led quality assurance scheme which demonstrates how effective biodiversity management is undertaken by Scotland’s landowners. Embracing the requirements of all major birdlife and biodiversity agreements and directives, WES will show how tangible benefits are delivered to the wildlife of rural Scotland through positive, integrated land management.

WES Chairman Robbie Douglas-Miller commented:

WES chairman Robbie Douglas-Miller
with Stewart Stevenson
“We are delighted that so many land and estate owners have already joined WES and today from the Game Fair in Scone we are appealing to those who have not yet done so to now become involved.

“We are confident the pilot scheme starting today will prove how effective the industry already is at integrating rural economic prosperity with effective habitat management. We also hope that it will flag up any areas where constructive change may be required.

“The more estates we can get on board and put WES into practice the better since that inevitably means greater credibility and integrity for the whole project. It is particularly encouraging to have the new Minister for Environment Stewart Stevenson here today to support our call”.

Minister for the Environment Stewart Stevenson said:

“This industry-led scheme demonstrates those involved in Scotland’s rural land and estates are serious about proving their land management practices are in the best interests of biodiversity and wildlife habitats. Scotland’s sporting estates have a vital role in managing our countryside and make a valuable contribution to our rural economy.

“I am pleased to see that so many estates and landowners have already endorsed this initiative by becoming members of Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) and I would strongly encourage those not already signed up to do so. It is in our collective interest to protect and improve Scotland’s rural environment and I wish the pilot estates getting started today on the WES programme every success.”

Those who are interested in signing up can do so now through the new WES microsite available at or by contacting Scottish Land & Estates on 0131 653 5400.

The WES initiative has been developed by Scottish Land & Estates (formerly the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association) over the past year with advice from Scottish Natural Heritage, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Wildlife Estates Scotland is a national version of the EU Wildlife Estates (WE) label.

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