19 August 2020

Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust launches Muirburn Advisory Service

MuirburnThe Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Advisory Services in Scotland has launched a new Muirburn Advisory Service.

Muirburn, a long-established land management and conservation tool for heather, gorse and grass, is regulated under the Hill Farming Act 1946, the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended. With many moors now considering the approaching muirburn season, commencing 1 October, this new service provides an excellent opportunity for managers to review their muirburn practices and is particularly important in light of the recent Scottish Government commissioned review of grouse moor management, which made recommendations for increased regulation of muirburn activities.

The Muirburn Advisory Service has been designed to help estates develop, maintain and deliver simple, user-friendly muirburn plans in what is becoming an increasingly politically charged and sensitive environment. The GWCT’s professional advisors will help estates through specialist advice to evaluate and manage risk of harm to the environment from muirburn, and to undertake it in line with the revised Muirburn Code and meeting all necessary statutory requirements.

The new service provides three distinct options: muirburn risk-mapping; muirburn planning; and muirburn mapping and monitoring.

Hugo Straker, GWCT Senior Adviser, Scotland, says: “Whilst we have offered advice on muirburn in the past, it has not been formalised in the way that we can now present through the creation of a distinct and dedicated Muirburn Advisory Service.

“In the current climate, with muirburn under increasing scrutiny every season, we believe that this service will provide invaluable support for muirburn planning, as well as assistance with Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) applications.

“It builds on the training that we already offer and is an important step towards safeguarding this important conservation tool for the future.”

For more information and prices contact the GWCT Muirburn Advisory Service via:

Hugo Straker, Senior Advisor, Scotland
07713 074147
hstraker@gwct.org.uk

Or:

Nick Hesford, Advisor, Scotland
07896 006322
nhesford@gwct.org.uk

See also www.gwct.org.uk/muirburn


Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is an independent wildlife conservation charity which carries out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

For information, contact:

Playfair Walker
Telephone: 0131 445 5570
Email: richard@playfairwalker.com

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