The Grouse Moor Management Group held its first meeting on 16th January at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. At that meeting the Chair (Alan Werritty) outlined the background and context for the Group noting the Cabinet Secretary's statement on 31 May 2017 following the publication of the 2017 SNH Commissioned Report. Analyses of the fates of satellite tracked golden eagles in Scotland.
The following Terms of Reference for the Group were agreed:
"The Group will examine how to ensure that grouse moor management continues to contribute to the rural economy while being environmentally sustainable and compliant with the law. The Group will recommend options for regulation including licensing and other measures which could be put in place without new primary legislation"
It was noted that the Cabinet Secretary has also commissioned a socio-economic study to be undertaken in parallel with the work of the Group, with interim findings made available later in the year.
In addition to identifying a schedule for meetings, the Group agreed the following framework:
January to July 2018: gathering evidence and identifying key issues
- Meeting 2. Evidence 1 (Environmental law relevant to grouse moors, current licensing systems and Codes of Practice, wildlife crime)
- Meeting 3. Evidence 2 (Predation/raptors and mountain hares)
- Meeting 4. Evidence 3 (Muirburn and medicated grit, call for written evidence)
September to December 2018: written and oral evidence, visit to estate(s), socio-economics
- Meeting 5. Written evidence reviewed and oral evidence from key stakeholders
- Meeting 6. Visit to grouse shooting estate(s)
- Meeting 7. Review input from socio-economic study
January to March 2019: drafting report and recommendations
- Meeting 8. Review evidence and initial drafting of report and recommendations
- Meeting 9. Finalise report and recommendations
Presentations were given by:
- Adam Smith (GWCT) Grouse moors and their management: an introduction
- Ben Ross (SNH) Current regulatory system governing grouse moor management
- Des Thompson (SNH) Raptor persecution and driven grouse moors – all specialist advisers to the group
Alan Werritty (Chair)
Telephone: 01896 661719