Estate’s reward for commitment to best practice

A Scottish estate has been presented with a prestigious award recognising its outstanding work on wildlife, habitat and conservation management.

Glenbervie Estate in Kincardineshire received its Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) accreditation at the Turriff Show on Monday. Alastair Macphie, owner of Glenbervie, received the certification from Scottish Land & Estates’ North East chairman David Fyffe.

WES is a national version of the EU Wildlife Estates (WE) label and was developed by Scottish Land & Estates with advice from Scottish Natural Heritage, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

It has also received the support of the Scottish Government since its launch.

A diverse property covering around 2000 acres, Glenbervie is the heartbeat of the Macphie food business, the UK’s leading, independent ingredients manufacturer.

The estate has a mix of land uses, with two let farms, 1,250 acres of land managed in-hand, including 400 acres of woodland. There are 500 acres of arable crops, including cereals and rented-out potato land, with 200 cows calved each year, including 25 replacement heifers.

The award to Glenbervie has been made following a rigorous accreditation process, which demonstrates that the estate is observing best practice in its land management regime.

The estate has built information on species and their habitats, wildlife management, conservation projects and integration of land uses to monitor continuous improvement.

Dee Ward, vice-chairman of operations, Wildlife Estates Scotland, said: ‘Achieving WES accreditation is a substantial feat and requires significant time and effort from farms and estates to demonstrate their commitment to best practice in wildlife and habitat conservation.

‘WES requires evidence about 70 named species, which provides an insight into how land in rural areas can be managed for the good of the nation’s wildlife and also enables best practice to be shared.

‘We are seeing owners and managers of estates across Scotland seeking WES accreditation and an estate such as Glenbervie should be recognised for its excellent work in balancing business with conservation. My congratulations go to Glenbervie for the accreditation they have worked tirelessly to achieve.’

Alastair Macphie, owner of Glenbervie Estate, said: ‘Glenbervie Estate is unique in many ways given its importance in our wider manufacturing business but that has not diminished our commitment to following the best principles of land management.

‘The award of WES accreditation is significant testament to those who have balanced our conservation goals with the demands of a demanding farming and forestry enterprise.

‘We encourage best practice in all the different aspects of estate management but the accreditation scheme encourages us to not only set higher goals but also ensure we record and can amply demonstrate the excellent work that is already being undertaken.

‘We are pleased to receive the accreditation and will be delighted to share our knowledge of the process to help other farms and estates working towards this goal.’