Heather burning results in “biodiversity” say scientists
A Scottish grouse moor has been praised by international conservationists for its land management efforts.
German scientists examining biodiversity in Scotland have been impressed by the way the Glenogil estate has been managed, resulting in 98 different bird species being recorded there.
Game Conservancy Deutschland (GCD) has been visiting the Angus Glens estate since 2015 and noted that in the past three years there has been an increase of 35 bird species. Among the birds discovered were red-listed species including curlew, lapwing, blackgrouse and merlin. An abundance of non-bird species were also found, such as mountain hares and lizards.
The researchers are crediting heather burning and predator control as the main drivers for the abundant wildlife found at Glenogil. Dr Daniel Hoffman of GCD said: “We wanted to show other estates, other countries in Britain and in the whole of Europe, that you can have this biodiversity only when you have the ecologically correct form of management.
“When I was here for the first time it was amazing to see the biodiversity. We read papers and articles saying that species such as the curlew are endangered in Britain but you can’t believe that when you are here. Even on these few hectares on Glenogil, we find almost double the number of breeding pairs of golden plover that you find in the whole of Germany. They breed here because the landscape is managed as it is.
“At Glenogil you have habitat management and predation control so the survival rate of our target species is so good.”
Danny Lawson, headkeeper at Glenogil, said: “We’ve been delighted to welcome Dr Hoffman and his team to demonstrate the management techniques which work so well at Glenogil.
“Land management, especially for gamekeepers on moorland estates, has never been under closer scrutiny. Much has changed in the sector over the past 15 years, including at Glenogil, and it is only fair that we recognise where our management is creating a rich tapestry of wildlife.”
The findings are discussed in a film which can be viewed at po.st/glenogil.
Dr Daniel Hoffman and his team studied a Scottish grouse moor