8 March 2023
NatureScot has restricted the use of general licences on Millden Estate, in the Angus Glens, for three years.
The decision was made on the basis of evidence provided by Police Scotland of wildlife crime against birds.
This evidence included three shot buzzards found on the estate in 2019, and incidents relating to trapping offences.
Donald Fraser, NatureScot’s Head of Wildlife Management, said: "The discovery of three shot buzzards on Millden estate, two of which were found within a bag at an estate house, as well as trapping offences and ongoing concerns relating to general licence compliance, have resulted in the suspension of the use of general licences on this property for three years until March 2026.
“NatureScot is committed to using all the tools we have available to tackle wildlife crime. This measure will help to protect wild birds in the area, while still allowing necessary land management activities to take place.
“We believe this is a proportionate response to protect wild birds in the area and prevent further wildlife crime. We will continue to work closely with Police Scotland and consider information they provide on cases which may warrant restricting general licences.
“The estate may still apply for individual licences; however, these will be subject to enhanced record-keeping and reporting requirements and will be closely monitored to ensure adherence with licence conditions.”
General licences allow landowners or land managers to carry out control of common species of wild birds, such as crows and magpies, to protect crops or livestock, without the need to apply for an individual licence.
In addition to this restriction, there are currently four other restrictions in place in Scotland: on Moy Estate in Highland, Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, Lochan Estate in Perthshire and Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire.
See the full licence restrictions details.