Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the aims of the enhanced shepherding measure?
A: The enhanced shepherding measure has been incorporated in to the Sea Eagle Management Scheme and has two main aims:
- Allow more detailed information to be recorded and reported back to Call off Contractors and NatureScot from the shepherded areas. This information will help inform future management on the holding to try and address issues with Sea Eagles and hopefully allow a better understanding and identification of specific areas which are experiencing more issues than others.
- Provide a scaring element through the presence of shepherds on areas of the hill. It is hoped the presence of shepherds on the hill will act as a visible deterrent to Sea Eagle interaction with livestock in parts of the holding where this measure is carried out.
Q: What is the hourly rate for the enhanced shepherding measure?
A: The hourly rate for the enhanced shepherding measure has been set at £12.80 per hour following guidance in the Farm Management Handbook. The rate has been increased from the additional shepherding rate in the previous Scheme in recognition of the extra recording and reporting work expected of those working on this measure.
Q: What are the recording and reporting requirements for the enhanced shepherding measure?
A: Those carrying out this work will have to complete daily activity logs for each day including a summary of the day’s observations on the hill to cover the number of hours that have been specified in the Management Agreement offer from NatureScot.
A standard recording template will be provided by NatureScot for this which should be completed on the same day to ensure no backlog of data entry and that the appropriate level of detail can be added to the logs.
Waterproof notepads will be provided to record data which can then be transferred to the relevant recording forms later that day.
In terms of reporting, there is a standard end of season reporting form that NatureScot will provide to you to complete at the end of the monitoring period. If some of the information in this reporting form is not available at the time you will be asked to provide this information when it is available e.g. overall lamb loss numbers for the season when weaning is completed.
Q: What information is to be recorded on the daily activity logs?
A: We have provided an outline of the information that we would like to see recorded as part of this measure but the more information we have the better for all in trying to address issues going forward.
We would request that any information that shepherds think is relevant is recorded as comments if it does not correspond with the observation column headings. These headings have been given as a guide but we expect to see this information recorded where relevant.
If there are days which are quiet in terms of observations then this should be noted in the summary section as this information is also useful, particularly if it starts to become a recurring theme as we can start to look at what factors might be influencing this and if human presence is for example, changing sea eagle usage of an area.
We would like to build a better understanding of a number of variables as this helps us all try and address issues going forward. We ask that weather information as well as eagle sightings of both species, sightings of prey species and other predator species are all recorded along with times, numbers and their direction of travel where relevant.
Carcass sites should be recorded and photographed as well as any injuries to livestock and their locations logged.
We would stress that the more information we have the more useful this measure is going to be going forward with trying to address issues and the more likely issues with non-payment for hours is avoided.
Q: What level of detail do you expect on daily activity logs?
A: This measure has been developed and the hourly rate of £12.80 applied in recognition of the extra work requested from those delivering the work. As above, the more information we have the more useful this measure will be.
As such we expect the daily logs and end of day summary to be completed in detail and log activity through the day for each of the days worked by the Shepherds. Entries with very little information will not be accepted as providing enough information and your claim may be revised to take account of this.
Q: What support will NatureScot provide to those delivering the work in order for them to meet the requirements?
A: We recognise that this approach is new and we want to support those delivering the work as much as possible to ensure that this measure is as successful as possible.
In order to do this, through the call off contractors, we will provide the following initial support before work commences:
- Visit from relevant call off contractor to outline the forms that are to be used for this work and the requirements. Feedback of any queries to NatureScot.
- At the visit, the call off contractor will provide an eagle identification sheet and some guidance and support on any queries about eagle identification if this is required.
- If found to be useful, the setup of a WhatsApp support group which would include those delivering the work, relevant call off contractors and scheme manager. This would be used through the season as a support to those delivering the measure and allow issues, queries and photographs to be sent for follow up discussion or response.
- If possible with Covid-19 restrictions, some initial time spent on the hill with those delivering the work to ensure that they are happy with the recording requirements and go through a “trial run”.
Q: When should this work take place and how do I claim payment?
A: This work has been targeted at the period during and following lambing when lambs are most vulnerable. NatureScot will contact you to confirm when you would like to start and end the monitoring period with the number of hours being confirmed during this conversation.
In terms of claiming payment, you will have to first submit all of the daily activity logs to NatureScot for the monitoring period along with any mapping data and the end of season reporting form. When NatureScot has received this and are content with the detail of information supplied, payment of the Management Agreement will be made.
Your Management Agreement will run from the 1st of January – 31st of December but payment can be made once the work has been completed and verified and you will not have to wait until December for this as per other Agreements.
Q: What will NatureScot do with the data that has been collected and will we have access to this?
A: The data collected will be analysed by NatureScot and discussed with you throughout. A collaborative report on the work will be produced by NatureScot and your input and comments will be sought on this during the report drafting period. The final report will be shared with you and the main findings from this will be incorporated into a wider summary report for the season covering the different areas where the measure was delivered.
The report findings will hopefully identify areas for further work to try and address issues, help to inform future Sea Eagle Management Scheme applications on the holding and support wider work on this issue. You will have access to all of the data that you have provided.
Q: What if some or all of my recording information does not meet the requirements?
A: Payment for this option will be on the provision of detailed records and an end of season report. Failure to provide sufficient information will result in non-payment or part payment of the Management Agreement and is at the discretion of NatureScot.
In order to avoid this and to ensure that work following this measure can be as well informed as possible we would stress that the more information we have the more useful this measure is going to be going forward with trying to address issues.
If you are struggling or are having issues with the delivery of this measure please make your relevant call off contractor and NatureScot know as soon as possible and we can discuss the issues you are having. Contact details for the relevant individuals will be provided at the initial site visit and if used, the WhatsApp support group is another method of initially getting in touch.