Originally, the fundamental aim of the rural practitioner was to produce a surplus of harvestable game for quality sporting experience. Whilst this remains a key objective, against the backdrop of climate change and biodiversity loss, the skill-set, local knowledge and experience of the rural practitioner also provides a vital toolkit essential to Scotland meeting targets of net zero by 2045 and halting biodiversity loss by 2030.
Heather Moorland. Image Credit: Laurie Campbell
Members of the SGA, gamekeepers, deer stalkers, river and pony ghillies inhabit a unique but often undervalued role that is pivotal to the wellbeing of Scotland and its people.
Peatland restoration, deer management, predator control, management of invasive non-native species, tree planting, moorland management, species monitoring and pond creation are just a few examples of the tangible and practical benefits which contribute to healthy habitats and ecosystems.
Large Heath Butterfly (now threatened). Image Credit: Laurie Campbell
This direct interaction with the environment and engagement with other stakeholders results in many positive outcomes for climate change mitigation, safeguarding biodiversity loss, food security and the economy and relate directly to many aims and objectives which mainstream across Scottish Government policy ⅰ, ⅱ, ⅲ
Atlantic Salmon. Image Credit: Lewis Webb
‘Scotland’s natural capital is one of our greatest assets and is central to our future net zero economy, developing thriving rural economies based around woodland creation, peatland restoration and biodiversity as well as sustainable tourism, food and drink and energy’ ⅰ
ⅰ Scottish Government. 2020. Update to the Climate Change Plan 2018 – 2032 Securing a Green Recovery on a Path to Net Zero
ⅱ Scottish Government. 2020. Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Post-2020: A Statement of Intent
ⅲ Scottish Government. 2022. Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation.
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