The information and advice contained in this guidance are relevant for businesses and employees carrying out outdoor work such as peatland restoration, wildlife and nature reserve management and ecological surveys and research.
We are taking forward a phased restart of activities, including:
- Species Survey work
- Deer management
- Habitat surveys
- Involvement of volunteers
Things we are continuing to do:
- Essential Health & Safety checks on NNRs
If you have an urgent query please use the following contacts.
NatureScot staff are operating from home working and currently maintaining business continuity via e-mail, video conferencing and telephone. We are committed to working with stakeholders to provide support and guidance on wildlife issues.
To this end we have set out below our current approach to delivering the following:
In accordance with government guidelines, our team members are all working from home. We are continuing to experience a high demand for our service, so please bear with us.
We will prioritise and aim to process urgent public health and safety and urgent prevention of serious damage licence applications as soon as possible. For other non-urgent licence applications we have a current turnaround time of approximately 8 weeks.
To avoid any unnecessary delays we advise anyone looking to obtain a licence to submit their licence application at their earliest opportunity.
Our phone line is currently not staffed, therefore if you have a general enquiry please refer to the relevant page on the licensing section of our website. If you have a query which you can’t find the answer to online then email [email protected]. We will aim to respond to all email queries within 5 working days. As our offices are currently closed please don’t send us any mail, instead, email all correspondence.
Sea Eagle Management Scheme (SEMS)
Following Government advice we are putting in place measures which will allow us to continue running the SEMS whilst protecting clients and staff. We will not be arranging any face to face visits but we can provide advice over the phone and by e-mail.
Contact: the SEMS mailbox as normal and someone will get back to you. Lead contact for non-scheme enquiries Rae McKenzie, telephone 01313 144155.
Goose Management Schemes
All fieldwork across all schemes has ceased. Administration across all the schemes will however continue.
Contact: your usual Area contact if you have further queries. Further information is available on our managing geese webpages. Lead contact – Rae McKenzie, telephone 01313 144155.
With the easing of restrictions deer management is gradually starting back up. Client stalking can be undertaken as long as social distancing and hygiene guidance is adhered to.
There is still an extremely limited venison market, thus consider and plan how you will dispose of your carcase.
It is essential to follow Scottish Government and Public Health guidance and manage risks by maintaining physical distancing, hand washing and sanitisation, as this is one of the most effective ways to suppress the spread of the virus.
Beaver Mitigation Scheme
Site visits are now resuming subject to following the Scottish Government and public health guidelines. Fieldwork that involves several people working in proximity is still being deferred. You can read more information on the Beaver Mitigation Scheme.
Contact: If anyone is seeking advice or guidance, you can email us at [email protected].
Invasive Non-native Species
The Hebridean Mink, Uist Wader, Orkney Native Wildlife and Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels Projects and Scottish Invasive Species Initiative are restarting urgent fieldwork to protect native wildlife and habitats from the spread of invasive non-native species. Fieldworkers have added regular hand washing and sanitising anything that they touch to their regular biosecurity routine. They will avoid areas where residents are shielding or do not want others on their land at this time.
Contact: the usual project contacts for further information. Lead Contact – Stan Whitaker, telephone 07786 126555.
We are working closely with the Scottish Government, other key agencies, and land management organisations to provide up to date and relevant advice and guidance.
It’s important that you keep following the rules on meeting other households, physical distancing and hygiene.
Exercising Rights of Access Responsibly
Please continue to exercise rights of access responsibly under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 during the COVID-19 emergency.
Respect the health and safety of farmers and others working on the land – please follow reasonable requests and signs to avoid farmyards, fields with livestock and other busy working areas. Try to avoid touching surfaces and if possible plan a route that avoids gates.
It's important people walking dogs act responsibly, take notice of signs and keep dogs under control – put them on a lead or keep them close at heel and don't let them approach other people/livestock.
Land managers should continue to respect access rights which are very important at this difficult time.
This is a temporary situation. It isn't about restricting rights, but part of the effort to prevent COVID19 deaths
Find out more
NHS Scotland Test and Protect
NHS Scotland Protect Scotland App
Access to our National Nature Reserves during the coronavirus outbreak
Scotland's National Nature Reserves - visiting and volunteering for each reserve