Wildlife Estates Scotland

Reay Vista

Wildlife Estates Scotland

WES images The Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) initiative aims to promote the best habitat and wildlife management practices, build recognition and raise standards through the introduction of an objective accreditation system.

The key aims of the initiative are to:

  1. Promote best practice in wildlife and habitat management
  2. Build information on species and their habitats, wildlife management, conservation projects and integration with other land uses to monitor continuous improvement
  3. Use information to engage public and private stakeholders in encouraging best practice management for further maintenance of Scotland’s biodiversity

It does so through the establishment of an objective accreditation system. This involves the close assessment of an estate and its management against the following criteria:

  • Commitment to best practice
  • Adoption of wildlife and habitat management plans that underpin best practice
  • Maintaining species and habitats records
  • Conservation and collaborative work
  • Integration with other land management activities (such as farming, forestry and tourism)
  • Social, economic and cultural aspects (such as employment, community engagement and communications)

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. 

You can find more information about WES here: 

WES: The guardians of wildlife and habitat
Operation Methodology
Aims, Objectives and Incentives
Breach Policy
Non-compliance Policy

And if you want to get in touch to discuss Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation, please contact our WES Project Officer, Caroline Pringle.


Get involved! 

"Waders at Threepwood Farm" written by Colin Strang Steel
Many of you will be enjoying the return of wading birds to your land. WES estates are often a stronghold for these struggling species. Colin Strang Steel gives us his insights and tells of the changes he has made to his land at Threepwood, Ayrshire to benefit wading birds.
Read the article 


Landowner Survey Research Project
A student at the University of Kent is working on a research project investigating landowner’s attitudes towards various conservation issues related to farming and land management. She is looking for farmers and landowners who would be willing to speak with her or one of her team for approximately one hour.
Read more information 


Raptor surveying guidance
Consistency is the key to a full understanding and a robust defence of moorland management. To this end, WES are preparing a small guidance package which starts this month with raptor surveying guidance. Given the potential immanency of the recommendations, WES are extremely keen not to miss out on recording data from this breeding season and would strongly encourage you, provided it is safe for you to do so in the current biosecure climate, to collect this data, especially given Eagles will most likely already be on their nests.
Download the Recording Raptors Guidance Note 
Download the Recording Raptors Spreadsheet


Opportunity to Help Out the BTO
The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) are hoping that, provided it is safe and responsible to do so under current circumstances, you will be able to help them to further understand farmland wader populations. If you, or someone else working on the ground, have a couple of minutes at the end of the week to tick a couple of boxes, it would be very much appreciated.
Download the introductory letter 
Download the form
Download the instructions


WES Level 1 Accreditation 

Apply for WES Level 1 Accreditation      

WES Level 2 Accreditation 

Introductory Guidance 

Module A - General 

Module B - Agriculture 

Module C - Hunting, Shooting & Fishing 

Module D - Woodland, Forestry & Hedgerows 

Module E - Tourism