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Professor Alison Hester appointed to new grouse moor management review group

The new panel aims to ensure sustainable and legal grouse management practices
“Scotland’s moorlands are internationally recognised, and ensuring their sustainable management is of paramount importance. I am very much looking forward to working on this with the other members of the group”

Professor Alison Hester, of our Ecological Sciences group, has been appointed as member of a new independently-led group which aims to ensure grouse moor management practices are not only sustainable but are legally compliant.

The group has been set up in response to research by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) that found almost a third of golden eagles being tracked by satellite died in suspicious circumstances and that the majority of cases were where land is intensively managed for driven grouse shooting.

The group includes scientists, moorland managers, regulatory experts and advisers from SNH, Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

It will explore the environmental impact of grouse moor management practices such as muirburn, the use of medicated grit and mountain hare culls and will advise on the option of licensing grouse shooting businesses.

Professor Hester said: “This new group will address an important and challenging subject, with a wide range of associated issues to consider.

"Scotland’s moorlands are internationally recognised, and ensuring their sustainable management is of paramount importance. I am very much looking forward to working on this with the other members of the group.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, who in May 2017 announced her intention to set up the independently-led group, said: “We have been clear that the continued killing of protected species of birds of prey damages the reputation of law-abiding gamekeepers, landowners and the country as a whole.

“This new group will look at what we can do to balance our commitment to tackling wildlife crime with grouse moor management practices, so it continues to contribute to our rural economy, while being sustainable and compliant with the law.”

The group will be led by Professor Alan Werrity, who previously chaired a SNH review into sustainable moorland management.

Professor Werritty added: “This is truly challenging work given the traditions underlying moorland management and the concerns coming to light over some mal-practices. I will be taking an evidence-based approach, and for this we have the right mixture of experience, expertise and knowledge on the group to get to grips with the subject. I look forward to getting started on this review. ”

Notes to editors:

The confirmed membership of the group includes Professor Ian Newton, Professor Alison Hester, Professor Colin Reid and moorland managers Alexander Jameson BLE MRICS FAAV and Mark Oddy MRICS CEnV MIAagrM. Dr Calum Macdonald, SEPA, Professor Des Thompson SNH, Dr Adam Smith – Director Scotland GWCT and Susan Davies, SWT, will be specialist advisers to the group.

More information from: 

Adam Walker, Communications Officer, Tel:01224 395095 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard).


Printed from /news/professor-alison-hester-appointed-new-grouse-moor-management-review-group on 18/08/19 08:31:37 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.