Muirburn Advisory Service

Photo credit: Laurie Campbell

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust recognises the importance of muirburn as a land management and conservation tool and has now launched a new Muirburn Advisory Service to support estates in developing and monitoring simple, user-friendly muirburn plans. We can provide specialist advice to help evaluate and manage risk of harm to the environment from muirburn activities and ensure that management complies with best practice and meets any statutory restrictions.

The key legislation governing muirburn is the Hill Farming Act 1946, which has been updated by more recent legislation including the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, which identifies burning restrictions on designated sites, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which concerns disturbance to species.

The legislation covers burning of all moorland vegetation, including grass and gorse.

Whether it is assistance with general muirburn management planning, support for Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) applications, or help to adapt to future regulation and monitoring of muirburn activities, the new service offers a number of options depending on your requirements. These include:

Muirburn risk-mapping

We use our specialist knowledge to carry out a desk-based study using the most up-to-date mapping software to identify general suitability for burning and no-burn zones. Muirburn suitability and environmental risk is assessed against the regulatory frameworks for Scotland. Results are detailed in an emailed summary report and presented in a simple risk- map using an easy to understand traffic light system.

Example muirburn risk map. Spatial data is illustrative only.Example muirburn risk map. Spatial data is illustrative only.

Risk mapping report: £788 + VAT

Muirburn planning

Our expert advisors will work with you to build a comprehensive muirburn plan tailored to your needs. We can provide professional advice to help prepare robust and dynamic plans, in accordance with the Best Practice and statutory frameworks that identify when, where and how muirburn management should be delivered, as well as how to mitigate risk. A walkover survey and site habitat assessment may be required to determine existing biodiversity, soil characteristics and desired outputs. Muirburn plans will be provided in an emailed report including detailed maps.

Advisor on moor

(Prices are based on prevailing full/half day advisory fees* and may vary depending on site area)

Muirburn mapping and monitoring

The recent Scottish Government commissioned review of grouse moor management makes recommendations for increased regulation of muirburn activities, including the requirement to document muirburn management. We can offer long-term support for recording and monitoring of muirburn activities to ensure compliance with the Muirburn Code and to demonstrate good practice. We will collate muirburn records, either using our customized recording platform on Epicollect (‘EpiBurn’)** or via paper forms, and provide a seasonal report and map detailing recent and historic muirburn activities.

Example muirburn location map. Spatial data is illustrative only.
Example muirburn location map. Spatial data is illustrative only.

Data handling, report and map: £850 + VAT

Contact us

For more information about the GWCT Muirburn Advisory Service or to book one of our muirburn services, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our Advisors.

Hugo Straker
Senior Advisor, Scotland
Tel: 07713 074147

Nick Hesford
Advisor, Scotland
Tel: 07896 006322

*Advisory rates are charged at £598 + VAT for a half-day and £788 + VAT for a full day.

**You can book an Epicollect training session by speaking to one of our Advisors.

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