In line with Government rules, our Area staff are unable to make site visits at the present time.
Actions we must stop:
- Field work (planning or otherwise)
- Species Survey work
- Deer counts
- Lek counts/bird surveys
- Involvement of volunteers
Suspension of Muirburn in Scotland
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 came into force on 6 April 2020, putting in place measures to address the threats posed by Coronavirus Covid-19.
These include suspension of the muirburn season for the period the Bill is in force. This means that muirburn is suspended until at least the end of September 2020.
Although muirburn is recognised as an important management tool for many in the rural sector, it is not considered essential to the economy in the current crisis. It also places a small, but additional, risk to our emergency services who have to deal with out of control fires or treat people injured by these fires.
Contact: [email protected]
Things we can do:
- Essential Health & Safety checks on NNRs
If you have an urgent query please use the following contacts.
For general queries relating to land management – please contact local area staff or the appropriate person from our key contacts.
SNH 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.
The key contact for Wildlife Management is Donald Fraser, Acting Head of Wildlife Management, telephone 07990 561963.
To this end we have set out below our current approach to delivering the following:
- Licensing - SNH Licensing team are experiencing an extremely high workload. Due to the current situation with regards to Covid-19, we will be prioritising licence applications based on their purpose. As such, licence applications for preserving public health and safety and licence applications for preventing serious damage will be prioritised. Licence applications for other purposes will be considered lower priority. It's likely it will take longer than usual for licences to be processed, so all works should be planned accordingly.
- If you currently hold a licence and think you will require an amendment to extend the licence expiry date due to work delays, we will only amend the licence if it is due to expire within the next 4 weeks. For licences that expire outwith this 4 week period, please delay requesting an amendment until the licence is due to expire within 4 weeks.
- Our phone line is not currently staffed, please use our website for guidance including that on trap registration. If you have a query which you can’t find the answer to online then email [email protected]. As our offices are currently closed please don’t send us any mail, instead, email all correspondence. Lead contact Graeme Taylor, telephone 07768 033243.
- 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 field work across all schemes has ceased. Administration across all the schemes will however continue. Please contact your usual Area contact if you have further queries. Further information is available on our website. Lead contact – Rae Mckenzie, telephone 01313 144155.
- Deer Management - In line with the Scottish Government’s route map there is a staged approach to the restart of deer management activity. As such unaccompanied stalking (or only in the presence of people from the same household) for recreation can restart as of Friday 29th May 2020. People are only permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise and are advised to stay within a short distance of their local community (broadly within 5 miles). It is essential that those undertaking this activity 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. Further guidance on working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19) in forestry and land management, including deer control, will be published shortly.
For area based issues please get in touch with our local area teams. Further details are available on our website. Lead Contact – Alastair MacGugan, telephone 07876 478305.
- Beaver Mitigation Scheme – Fieldwork is currently suspended however you can read more information on the Beaver Mitigation Scheme. If anyone is seeking advice or guidance, you can email us at [email protected].
- Invasive Non-native Species - Invasive non-native species projects (Hebridean Mink, Uist Wader, Orkney Native Wildlife and Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels Projects and Scottish Invasive Species Initiative). All field work across all projects has ceased, although desk-based tasks like preparation of educational materials and planning are continuing, with staff working from home. Please 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.
Exercising Rights of Access Responsibly
A statement by Scottish Ministers sets out what exercising rights of access responsibly under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 means during the COVID-19 emergency.
During the current emergency, it’s important to stay local – you can now travel short distances for outdoor recreation, but stay within your local area – roughly 5 miles is a sensible guide – and where possible get there by foot, wheel or bike.
Respect the health and safety of farmers and others working on the land – please follow all reasonable requests and signs to avoid farmyards, fields with young 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 and maintain food supplies.
Find out more
Scotland's National Nature Reserves - visiting and volunteering for each reserve