Bell Ingram Lights Up For PR Scotland.
The licenses have been awarded for the purposes of conducting a five year research project into the effects of September Muirburn on heather moorland habitats.
Muirburn is one of the oldest land-management tools available for the management of heather moorland with small scale burning producing a ‘patchwork’ of differently aged heather stands that provide ground nesting birds with shelter and cover for nesting.
The resulting vegetative mosaics contribute to the rich biodiversity of these areas with heather moorland being an important habitat for red grouse, curlew and hen harrier and a benefit to internationally important species like black grouse.
Under previous legislation Muirburn could only be carried out during 1 October to 15 April but new legislation introduced under the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act 2011 included the option to Muirburn out-with the legal season under license.
She added: “One of the biggest benefits of Muirburn is to red grouse and many of our upland estates shoot grouse commercially therefore we have an invested interest in a research project created to analyse the effects of the Muirburn process.
“The majority of burning commonly takes place in March and April but recent findings have suggested that burning in September could be more beneficial to bird species, like red and black grouse. This means there’s a real need to research the characteristics of heather to determine whether this is accurate.
“We’re hoping that by burning in September we will see a much quicker regeneration of key species like heather and blaeberry with the establishment of the vital seed beds that Muirburn creates which in turn will benefit the grouse.”
Bell Ingram offers a wealth of knowledge and experience in sporting estate management and provides a specialist service of carrying out audits on sporting estates.
Malcolm Taylor, Director of Bell Ingram said: “Obtaining these licenses is a massive merit to the firm and our expertise but it is just one small aspect of the type of work we do for these kinds of estates.
“Operating a sporting estate is extremely rewarding but to ensure its run efficiently we provide a specialist auditing service.
“It takes more of a holistic view of the sporting enterprise to make sure our estate practices comply with the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act and all legislation regarding estate management.
“Standard audits involve looking at best practice and making sure all avenues of risk to owners, occupiers and employees are accounted for so we are able to formulate and recommend a strategic management plan which ultimately benefits all parties.”