For many years the GWCT had hoped to establish a demonstration farm in Scotland, similar to that of the Allerton Project at Loddington in Leicestershire. This was finally achieved in 2015, with the help of Andrew Salvesen, former Scottish GWCT Chairman, who offered his newly acquired farm, Auchnerran, to be the site for the new demonstration farm for game and wildlife.
As a trust, we understand the challenges faced by landowners who are wanting to invest in farming and shooting, which support landscapes enhanced by wildlife and suitable habitats. By setting up an upland/hill-edge farmland research project we hope to show that this type of management is beneficial to ensuring that a sustainable, environmentally sensitive, and profitable agricultural system can be created.
Managed properly and in line with advice, farmland and upland habitat are not only productive for farming and shooting but also harbour higher densities of invertebrates, songbirds, waders and other biodiversity target species. We believe practical examples, backed with good science and our advice, can show the practicalities of this management strategy as well as influencing further farming practices and, most importantly, farming policy.
The Scottish Demonstration Farm will:
- Show how economically sustainable farming and preserving wildlife are compatible.
- Show that management for shooting can be key to achieving the above.
- Show that private investment is the most cost-effective way of supporting farming and shooting.