The Scottish Government's Response to the Grouse Moor Management Report (more commonly known as the "Werritty Report") was published yesterday, 26 November 2020.

Headline points to note:-

  • a licence will be required to operate a driven grouse moor business, which could be withdrawn if there is strong evidence of unlawful activity or serious breaches of codes of practice
  • all muirburn (not just on grouse moors and whatever the time of year) will only be permitted under licence from NatureScot (formerly SNH) with a ban on burning on peatland except under licence and for very limited purposes. The current definition of "peatland" is to be reviewed, which may result in a more areas being designated as such
  • NatureScot should produce a Code of Practice on medicated grit use, to be followed by all land managers
  • from 1 March 2021 mountain hares can only be culled under licence from NatureScot
  • the legislation governing use and monitoring of traps is to be strengthened

The full response is available from the Scottish Government website.

As ever, the devil will be in the detail and we shall provide updates as matters proceed through further consultation and the Scottish Parliament.


Alex Buchan