Kinross-shire Estate Maintains its Prestigious Conservation Accreditation

Press Release

A mixed agricultural, forestry and sporting estate in Kinross-shire, has been successfully re-assessed for a prestigious accreditation which recognises landowners who are committed to best practice in conservation, habitat and wildlife management. 

At 258 acres, Balruddrie Estate, a 2018 winner of a Purdey Award for their conservation projects and habitat management, has maintained its accreditation with Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) following a rigorous assessment by an independent accreditation organisation, who were particularly impressed with the estate’s work in integrating commercial activities with the natural environment with particular credit awarded for their approach to the protection of breeding birds and widespread provision of habitat for insects.

Andrew Rettie, owner of Balruddrie Estate said: “We are very happy to have renewed our WES accreditation for a further five years. In the time since we purchased Balruddrie in 1987, it has been a pleasure to watch nature prosper simultaneously with commercially viable ventures. We look forward to seeing how our latest venture, our bee-hives, enhances the environment further.

WES, which is supported by the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage and managed by Scottish Land & Estates, aims to promote the best habitat and wildlife management practices, build recognition and raise standards through the introduction of an objective accreditation system.

Assessments are scored on commitment to best practice, community engagement, adoption of wildlife and habitat management plans, maintaining species and habitat records and conservation and collaborative work as well as their integration with other land management activities.
Accreditation is based on the combined score achieved for each of these sections, a qualitative assessment of management and site visits, all of which are conducted by an objective, external assessor.

Caroline Pringle, Project Officer at Wildlife Estates Scotland, said: “Balruddrie estate has proven over the past 6 years that they are committed to enhancing the natural environment while maintaining an income from the land. Their Accreditation by WES serves to illustrates their efforts to the wider world. Estates, farms, nature reserves and other land-based businesses play a crucial role in conserving and protecting our environment and only those found to meet the highest standards can be accredited by Wildlife Estates Scotland.”

Balruddrie’s bottom-up approach to habitat enhancement will be benefitted further by their recent collaboration with the Scottish Beekeeping Association. Through the organisation, WES was able to introduce Balruddrie to a local beekeeper looking for land upon which to place additional hives. The hives will arrive onsite later this month and all parties eagerly await the results.

Wildlife Estates was established in 2005 and is active in 19 European countries facilitating collaboration between the public and private sectors, focusing on biodiversity and conservation, and sharing best practice.