The Report from the Grouse Moor Management Group, often referred to as the Werritty Report, has been published today. This represents the findings of the independent expert group, chaired by Professor Alan Werritty, appointed by the Scottish Government to consider the sustainable and legal management of grouse moors.
The Report makes the following headline recommendations:-
- A scheme of licensing for grouse shooting to be introduced if there is no marked improvement in the populations of breeding golden eagles, hen harriers and peregrine falcons on, or in the vicinity of, grouse moors, in the next 5 years
- Additional regulation of land management activities on grouse moors including muirburn (licensing), mountain hare management (increased regulation, failing which licensing) and use of medicated grit (Code of Practice, failing which licensing)
- The introduction of new and improved Codes of Practice, training for land managers on moor management activities and an accreditation scheme to encourage best practice, incentivised through moorland management attracting subsidy support
- Improvements in the regulation of fitting, and use of, satellite tags on raptors, including a register of tag owners and a commitment for those parties to co-operate expeditiously with the authorities in the event of suspected wildlife offences
The Report contains a significant amount of information and detail which we will be considering and commenting on in due course. Meantime please remember that, at this stage, these are just “recommendations” so there is still room for change – in either direction.