Fifteen Scottish landholdings gain prestigious wildlife conservation accreditation

Press Release
Awards presented by HRH The Princess Royal and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE at GWCT Scottish Game Fair

Fifteen Scottish farms and estates – accounting for more than 211,000 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 HRH The Princess Royal and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, chair of NatureScot, presenting the accolades.

Three new accreditations were made with a further 12 properties receiving reaccreditation, a process that takes place every five years.

The three new accreditations were made to:

  • Ardtalla Estate, Islay
  • Attadale Estate, Wester Ross
  • Bavelaw Estate, Midlothian

The 12 reaccreditations were awarded to:

  • Abernethy Nature Reserve, Strathspey
  • Altyre Estate, Forres
  • Annandale Estates, Lockerbie
  • Ballogie Estate, Aboyne
  • Dalhousie Estates, Angus
  • Doune Estate, south west Perthshire near Stirling
  • Edinglassie Estate, Huntly
  • Finzean Estate, Banchory
  • Glenfalloch Estate, near Crianlarich
  • Glenmuick Estate, Ballater (Previously announced)
  • Over Rankeilour Estate, Cupar
  • Rottal Estate, Kirriemuir (Previously announced)

WES is a national version of the EU 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.

Recently celebrating its 10th birthday, 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 aims to double the accredited land to 2.5 million acres by 2023. Between them, WES accredited landholdings have stewardship of 97 nationally protected sites (SSSI, NNR) and 79 internationally designated sites (SAC, SPA, Ramsar etc).

Dee Ward, chair of Wildlife Estates Scotland, said: “These farms and estates are undertaking exceptionally important work that benefits biodiversity and the environment and it is only right that their efforts are publicly recognised through Wildlife Estates Scotland.

“WES accreditation is a rigorous process that asks land managers to meet the highest standards across wildlife and conservation management and it is pleasing that these 15 estates and farms have met this benchmark.

“The newly-accredited properties are very diverse in nature but they have all demonstrated the excellent work they are conducting. We seek 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 conservation efforts need to be targeted

Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, chair of NatureScot, said: “By attaining WES accreditation, these estates have reached a gold standard in their long-term commitment to helping Scotland’s nature thrive.

“Initiatives like WES, which gather the knowledge and expertise of people who work Scotland’s countryside, are a crucially important way to increase the resilience of Scotland’s land, as we work together to tackle the twin biodiversity and climate change crises.”

More information of each of the accredited landholdings is available here.