Memorial award for wildlife managers

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The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) has introduced an award in memory of one of its most respected figures and champions.

Forestry and wildlife sectors were deeply saddened last December to hear of the passing of Ronnie Rose MBE at his home in Eskdalemuir.

A central figure in the SGA’s development, Ronnie was a passionate advocate of the work of wildlife managers in enhancing and caring for Scotland’s natural heritage.

His pioneering principles of forest design, which viewed wildlife as an asset, saw him oversee a 300 per cent increase in bird species in the forests of Eskdalemuir.

Now the SGA is to introduce an annual ‘Ronnie Rose Award’ for wildlife/game managers as part of its Year of the Rural Worker programme.

Those who practice or educate in wildlife management will be nominated for the award, which celebrates lasting contributions to conservation, habitat, species management or rural education on river, low ground, hill or forest.

SGA Chairman Alex Hogg said: “Ronnie was a true giant. Wildlife management was his life and many of his ideas are now staples of forestry best practice.

“We are delighted, with the blessing of Ronnie’s family, to introduce this award in his name and it is fitting as we honour the contributions made to Scotland by the rural labour force in our Year of the Rural Worker.

“Ronnie believed that riches were derived, not from money, but from the work undertaken in respect of countryside stewardship.

Over a 50 year career, Ronnie Rose, whose father and grandfather were both head stalkers at Royal Deeside’s Balmoral Estate, received many conservation accolades including the Balfour Brown Trophy for Humane and Sustainable Management of Deer.

He also helped establish the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park in Loch Lomond and his pioneering work for Economic Forestry Group Scotland at Eskdalemuir is a permanent legacy to his stewardship.