The Estate Office, Ulzieside, Sanquhar, DG4 6LA

Tel: 01659 58697

Grouse Shoot Licensing Scheme

The Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Act 2024 paved the pathway for NatureScots recent announcement that the Grouse Shoot Licensing Scheme will launch on the 15th July 2024.  Back in March of this year, Scottish Land & Estates hailed this legislation as a ‘seismic change’ in how Grouse moor management would operate; but once the dust settles and everyone determines to ‘make it work,’ the initial impact of the process will perhaps be an additional administrative headache to landowners and occupiers rather than heralding a significant change in how the actual on the ground operation works.

Five year licence

Scottish Land & Estates and other bodies worked closely with the Government while this bill progressed through parliament, and their representation and common sense approach has ensured that licences will endure for five years, rather than the initially proposed annual application, and it will be outwith NatureScots power to revoke a licence without proof of criminal activity so that necessary land management and commercial operations can continue.

Unlike many land use options in the UK, Grouse management is completely privately funded, and there is a recognition of the social and economic contribution that this makes to rural areas, as well as assisting with government targets relating to climate change and promotion and protection of biodiversity.

Application launch

With under two weeks to go until the scheme commences, NatureScots website currently states that the application form is still under development, but sets out the details which applicants will be required to supply:

  • Land holding name, a grid reference and a plan showing the areas on the holding which it is intended to take or kill red grouse on.
  • Full details of the Licence applicant (The licence holder must be the owner and/or occupier of the land. An occupier is someone who has the right to kill or take red grouse over the land. The licence holder can be an individual or an organisation (a trust, a business or a partnership).

For more details, or for assistance with licence applications, visit NatureScots website or call us at Stanley Wright on 01659 58697