Fiinzean Estate wins Golden Plover Award 2014

FinzeanThe Heather Trust and GWCT Scotland have announced the winner of the second Golden Plover Award for moorland management. Lying in central Deeside, Finzean estate encompasses farmland, moorland and forestry. It is managed as an integrated family business with a keen interest in conservation and the preservation of a viable, thriving community.

The Estate comprises 4,000 hectares, with moorland representing just over a third of this area. Game and wildlife management is undertaken to support a wide range of species, including black grouse, golden eagles, merlin, curlew and lapwing.  Red and roe deer are managed on both the open hill and in woodland.

Wildcats have been recorded at Finzean, and a real focus for conservation work has been the remnant population of capercaillie on the estate. Targeted management has seen the creation of mown woodland rides to regenerate blaeberry and other valuable foodplants beneath the forest canopy, and this is repaid by the birds which continue to thrive on the estate amidst dramatic national declines.

Until the 1980s, the moor produced bags of six hundred brace of Grouse a season, but then suffered a steep decline in fortunes. Since then, considerable effort has been put in to improve the upland habitat alongside other conservation initiatives. This has resulted in a steady recovery.

Balancing commitments to biodiversity across farmland, woodland and upland is a very complex and delicate task, and it is the key to all that the Golden Plover Award was intended to promote and support.

The final decision was extremely close, and alongside Finzean, Gannochy estate in Angus and Sutherland’s Loch Choire were also short-listed in the final three nominees. Gannochy was announced as a runner-up for their commendable progress and hard work during the course of the past decade.

Representatives from Finzean Estate will be presented with the award at a ceremony held at the Scottish Game Fair on the 4th July 2014. A specially commissioned print by wildlife artist Colin Woolf will also be presented to the winners

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