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Altyre Estate receives Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation for conservation efforts


By Lorna Thompson

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A FORRES estate has earned prestigious international accreditation for its ongoing work in wildlife management and conservation.

Altyre Estate was one of 15 Scottish farms and estates which received Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) accreditation at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair, held over the weekend of September 24-26 at Scone Palace.

The award was presented to estate owner Sir Alastair Gordon Cumming by Princess Anne, alongside the chair of NatureScot, Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, and WES chair Dee Ward.

In 2019 the family-run Altyre Estate embarked on a long-term holistic approach to conserve land, soils, environment, habitats and wildlife.

A wildflower meadow has been established and there are major efforts under way to reforest swathes of fire-damaged land with native woodland.

Blair's Steading on the estate has been restored as a Glasgow School of Art creative campus as an international teaching, research and innovation centre.

Altyre is also making efforts to use sustainable resources to meet energy demands on the estate and further afield.

Sir Alastair Gordon Cumming, of Altyre Estate, receives a Wildlife Estates Scotland Accreditation Award from Dee Ward, of Scottish Land and Estates. Picture: Graeme Hart.
Sir Alastair Gordon Cumming, of Altyre Estate, receives a Wildlife Estates Scotland Accreditation Award from Dee Ward, of Scottish Land and Estates. Picture: Graeme Hart.

Further plans include a switch to regenerative farming, employing methods to help soil regenerate itself by using cash crops, catch crops, fallow land and green manure in rotation with mob grazing.

Mr Ward said: "These farms and estates are undertaking exceptionally important work that benefits biodiversity and the environment and it is only right that their efforts are publicly recognised through Wildlife Estates Scotland.

"WES accreditation is a rigorous process that asks land managers to meet the highest standards across wildlife and conservation management and it is pleasing that these 15 estates and farms have met this benchmark."

Dr Cantlay added: "By attaining WES accreditation, these estates have reached a gold standard in their long-term commitment to helping Scotland’s nature thrive.

"Initiatives like WES, which gather the knowledge and expertise of people who work Scotland’s countryside, are a crucially important way to increase the resilience of Scotland’s land, as we work together to tackle the twin biodiversity and climate change crises."



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