Muirburn

Scotland’s final muirburn season gets underway

Save money on Shooting Times by taking out a subscription here.  What seems likely to be Scotland’s final unlicensed muirburn season has got underway. The season officially opens on the 1st of October, but wet weather delayed the start of burning on many estates. Now a brief window without rain…

Stalking in Blair Atholl

Are these the best places to go stalking in Scotland?

I have to admit that I haven’t shot a red stag for years. These days, I tend to stalk hinds, for budgetary reasons. Yet money is a renewable resource, whereas time is not, so perhaps I should go to the hill for a stag while I still can. But if…

Rural workers protest

Today thousands are protesting concerns over Scottish rural policy

The Rural Workers Protest had been planned to take place in Scotland’s capital, however COVID restrictions forced organisers to think creatively and the protest moved online. The  event was jointly organised by the Scottish Gamekeepers association and Scotland’s regional moorland groups. However support is going far beyond gamekeepers. As well…

Alex Hogg of Scottish Gamekeepers Association

Scottish gamekeepers plan Holyrood protest on 19th March

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) has announced The Rural Workers’ Protest 2021, #RWP21 and says it is: “… an opportunity for everyone across the countryside, on land and river, to unite and find their voice.” The event will take place on Friday 19th March 2021. The association is mindful of…

STOBO ESTATE

One of the most expensive-ever Scottish estates goes on the market

The Stobo Estate in the Upper Tweed valley is for sale for offers over £12 million and comes with its own herd of Sika deer. John Buchan said of the river: “I asked for nothing better than to spend my life by the Tweed” and his adventure stories such as…

Wild boar tusks

Huge Scottish wild boar shot after Highlands sheep rampage

A large wild boar, estimated to weigh 24 stone (150kg), has been shot dead after being considered responsible for a spate of sheep killing on a Highland farm. Twitter account user @highlandfowler wrote on 17 June:  “A keeper friend of mine was called to help find out what was killing…

mountain hare

Mountain hare shooting banned in Scotland

Mountain hares in Scotland will have year-round legal protection following an amendment to the law proposed by Green MSP Alison Johnstone, which passed by 60 to 19 votes. At present mountain hares are controlled between 1 August-28 February to protect trees, fragile habitats and to manage tick populations. The mountain…

Scottish stalking

What will the Scottish stalking season be like this year?

Usually at this time of year everyone involved in deer stalking in Scotland – ghillies, agents and guides – would be gearing up for the season ahead. However, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, recreational stalking and sporting tourism have been hit hard. Scottish National Heritage (SNH) has ruled: “… Unaccompanied…

grouse shooting

Reactions to the Werritty report on grouse shooting in Scotland

The newly published Werritty report on grouse shooting in Scotland states that licensing should be introduced if there is no marked improvement in the ecological suitability of grouse management within the next five years. However Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has hinted that licensing could be imposed sooner than the five year…

hen harrier female

General licences restricted on Leadhills Estate following wildlife crime

In the past week Scottish Natural Heritage has announced that it is restricting the use of general licences on the Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire after evidence of wildlife crime against birds was provided by Police Scotland. Nick Halfhide, SNH’s Director of Sustainable Growth, explained: “There is clear evidence that…

roe head

Scottish roe review 2017

With a score of 
175.93, K. Mehl’s Aberdeenshire trophy took top honours for Scotland in 2017, maintaining that county’s place as one of the country’s great roe hunting territories. However, this year it was eclipsed, numerically at least, in the top 10 heads by its principal competitors, Angus, Fife and…

What did we learn from Langholm?

What did we learn from Langholm?

(More background on Rob Yorke here). There is a chunk of moorland in Scotland that has been subject to a 24-year project involving upland land uses, habitat, nature conservation designations, biodiversity, fieldsports and rural economics. It all started with the Joint Raptor Study (JRS), funded by major conservation organisations, on…

wild salmon

Scotland seeks to solve salmon crisis

The Scottish Government has pledged £700,000 to tackle declining wild salmon stocks. With survival rates for salmon at sea having dropped to just five per cent, ministers say that the money will help to fund new research and activities and mitigate damaging factors such as predation, illegal poaching and salmon…

Gamekeepers and beekeepers work together on moorland heather

A new film explores how Scottish grouse estates are supporting local businesses, by teaming up with honey producers to give bees access to managed heather. Estates in Tayside, the Angus Glens and the Lammermuirs work with beekeepers who put their hives on the moors every August and September. The bees…

red stags

Scottish estates urged to seek rates relief

Scottish landowners are being urged to take advantage of rates relief to avoid paying “eye-watering” new sporting fees. Scottish Assessors has issued notices to around 6,500 landowners after repealing rates exclusions on shoots and deer forests brought in by the Land Reform Act. The rates will apply to any landholding…

hen harrier tag

War of the words as hen harrier tag goes quiet

Rural groups have rejected claims that grouse moor managers were responsible for the disappearance of a hen harrier. RSPB Scotland says a satellite-tagged bird, named Calluna, vanished over an Aberdeenshire grouse moor near Ballater when transmissions from the tag ended abruptly on the Glorious Twelfth. First day of the season…

deerstalking male deer

It’s time to ban firearms decides ScotRail

BASC chairman Peter Glenser says: “ScotRail claims its Scotland’s railway but it is 
striking at the heart of rural businesses and communities that rely on the estimated £155million injected each year into the country’s economy by country sports tourism. BASC understands the ban comes as a result of a shotgun…

Butt used in grouse shoots

Why restrictions on grouse shooting would reduce rural tourism

It will come as no surprise that the inquiry and debate into driven grouse shooting, which was triggered by the online petition on Parliament’s website calling for the sport to be banned, has been at the forefront of the Countryside Alliance’s activities over the past couple of months. However, we have also seen further “attacks” on shooting…