An independent body which carried out a review of wildlife management at a Braemar estate belonging to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has made a number of recommendations to ensure the Trust runs the estate as a sporting entity.

The Mar Lodge Independent Review Panel was asked to consider the Trust?s approach to woodland, moorland and deer management at the 29,000-acre estate ? with specific reference to deer culling and fencing ? following sustained criticism from some quarters, including the Scottish Gamekeepers? Association (SGA).

The panel made eight recommendations, covering such subjects as the balance of the estate?s functions, alterations to fencing, woodland management and the management structure at Mar Lodge estate.

The panel?s chairman, David Windmill, said: ?If implemented in full, these recommendations will address many of the issues currently facing Mar Lodge estate and enable the Trust to achieve its goal of successfully integrating the conservation of the Caledonian pine forest with managing a commercial Highland sporting estate.?

The NTS welcomed the report. Pete Selman, director of properties and visitor services, said: ?The report reminds us all that the estate?s functions of conservation, sport and access must be better balanced.?

The rest of this article appears in the 7th December issue of Shooting Times.

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