After several unsavoury incidents of poaching and vandalism – including £30,000 of damage when a pheasant shoot was deliberately destroyed, the vandalising of high seats, poaching at a Kinross fishery, and the arrest of two men for illegal fishing in Kelso – game shoots and fisheries are being warned to be extra vigilant during lockdown.
Scottish Gamekeepers Association chairman Alex Hogg, who had a high seat vandalised on the Borders estate where he works, said that with four times as many people now accessing the countryside than usual, extra vigilance is required.
A Scottish fishery, closed due to lockdown, has reported evidence of increased poaching activity, while two men have also been arrested for illegal fishing in Kelso.
A trout fishery in Kinross recently reported a spike in poaching since the fishery was closed, with CCTV cameras having to be installed to monitor the property remotely.
Rural working groups have also reported increasing incidences of access to the countryside being abused.