Mar Estate secures environment award

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land and Estates, left, presents the WES award to Tom Willis, from Savils, on behalf of Mar Estate
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land and Estates, left, presents the WES award to Tom Willis, from Savils, on behalf of Mar Estate

An Upper Deeside estate has won a coveted award for wildlife management and conservation work.

Mar is one of eight Scottish farms and estates to secure Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) accreditation.

WES is a national version of the EU Wildlife Estates (WE) initiative and is endorsed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Environment, whose objective is to protect, preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations.

Mar Estate looks after upland sporting interests and maintains a strong commitment to moorland management, which was recognised in 2015 by it winning the Golden Plover award.

The recently accredited estates have all have undergone a rigorous independent assessment of their game, wildlife and habitat management, as well as their social and economic contribution to rural life.

Scottish Land and Estates chairman David Johnstone said: “The newly-accredited properties are very diverse in nature but they have all demonstrated the excellent work they are conducting on issues such as species and habitat management.

“We seek a broad range of information from estates, including data on 70 birds and animals, which helps to provide significant insight on what is working well and where our conservation efforts need to be targeted.”

The total number of accredited farms and estates across Scotland now stands at 52, with best practice management covering just over 1.2 million acres.

The awards were made at the recent Scottish Game Fair, held at Scone Palace.