Latest News - Some land managers are the cat's whiskers - Sharing Good Practice with Scottish Wildcat Action

Some land managers are the cat's whiskers - Sharing Good Practice with Scottish Wildcat Action

Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about managing your land in Scotland, something crops up to make you think again.    You know a bit about planning rules, designated sites, osprey nests, badger setts and otter holts and you might even know how to deal with unicorn dens if you found some, but do you know about your obligations to wildcats?  Probably not.

Photo: Wildcats are an edge species, preferring open areas to hunt, like scrub or grassland, that are within easy reach of cover, like forests and juniper.

Forestry Commission Scotland

On 24th February 2017 a capacity audience of professionals with an interest in land management including planners, consultants, ecologists and police assembled in the newly refurbished auditorium at the Scottish Natural Heritage facility at Battleby to hear what the experts had to say about building wildcat thinking into land management and to share their own knowledge of the subject.  The event was held under the auspices of the Sharing Good Practice project whose staff did an amazing job of marshalling, feeding and generally mothering those present, freeing up the Scottish Wildcat Action staff and other contributors to concentrate on their presentations and workshops.

Photo: Sharing Good Practice event at Scottish Natural Heritage was a sell-out.

Sharing Good Practice

As Chair for the day I was pleased to be able to get things off to a bright start by reading out a message of good wishes from Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.  The format for the day was a series of presentations from experts followed by questions-and-answers from the floor, leading to the first of two workshop sessions.  After lunch everyone had the chance to go to a different workshop before reassembling for one more presentation and the final summing up.

The key sharing aspect of the day was at its most effective during the workshops of which there were three to choose from; planning, forestry and a practical session out in Battleby’s delightful (and muddy) grounds.  Each participant was able to sign up to two of the workshops: one before lunch and one after.

As always with these events the free time over coffee and lunch gave rise to a feast of networking.  For myself, I had little time for food as I caught up with old friends and made new ones, all the while being conscious that everyone else was up to the same thing so that after each break the Sharing Good Practice staff had their work cut out splitting us up and getting us to the next session.

We await the results of the feedback forms but those to whom I spoke on the day felt the event had been well worth their time and effort.

For those interested in the presentations from the day please visit the Scottish Natural Heritage - Sharing Good Practice webpage HERE.

Scottish Wildcat Action is the first national project to save the highly endangered Scottish wildcat from extinction. It is a partnership involving over 20 organisations, including, Scottish Natural Heritage, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Scotland, National Museums Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Government, as well as its partners.

Contact for more information or visit our website at

Scottish Natural Heritage

This content was made possible by our Partners & Funders at Scottish Natural Heritage


Image for Allan Bantick OBE

Allan is the Chair of the Scottish Wildcat Action Steering Group. He was the Former Chair for Scottish Wildlife Trust; Founding Chair of the Scottish Beaver Trial; Trustee of Scottish Badgers; Member of the Scottish Environment Link Wildlife Crime Task Force; and Founder Member of the Scottish Species Reintroductions Forum.

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