High on the list of our priorities at Atholl Estates is our dedication to conservation in Scotland. There are many special habitats and species found within the estate, and conservation is one of the most central considerations in the management of the estate’s farms, woodlands and moorlands.
Read on for some examples of our efforts to promote conservation in Scotland.
Conservation of one of Scotland’s most recognised species is highly important at Atholl Estates, which is why we have developed a species action plan to protect the red squirrel.
The woodland is managed to ensure a good cone crop is produced, while monitoring takes place to make sure that grey squirrels do not move in. Grey squirrels carry squirrel pox, a disease that is fatal to reds but does not affect the greys. We work closely with Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels.
The capercaillie and black grouse are another two species that are synonymous with Scotland. While numbers have fallen in recent years, Atholl Estates’ conservation efforts are helping to protect these birds.
More than 6000m of deer fence has been removed in the last five years, and another 2000m of fencing has been marked. This means that the birds are more likely to see the fencing and avoid it.
Other efforts include the controlling of crows, foxes and other predators, which feed on black grouse and capercaillie chicks.
The northern damselfly is a species of northern Scotland. It is found at Logierait Curling Pond and some other sites nearby. These are its most southerly locations in the UK. We are working with the British Dragonfly Society to improve its habitat.
Butterfly species have been helped by controlling tree regeneration along the rides to keep them open, while also operating a continuous cover forestry system in nearby woodland.
This has helped the Pearl Bordered Fritillary and other types of woodland butterfly.
This rare flower is only found in a handful of sites in the UK. It is found in abundance in a site in Glen Tilt and we are actively managing the site to keep it optimal for the small cow-wheat.