Scotland’s Shooting Estates issue Unprecedented Statement on Wildlife Crime.

The detail posted below was first published in 2010, however we feel that in view of the increasing number of poisoning incidents throughout the Scottish Highlands resulting in the deaths of large numbers of protected birds of prey, Raptor Politics feels the public have a right to know which estates have now added their names to a statement strongly condemning such criminal activities. 

More than 200 estates throughout Scotland have signed an unprecedented letter condemning ‘out of hand’ instances of illegal poisoning of protected species. The landowners and estates set out their position in a letter to the Scottish Government Minister for Environment, Roseanna Cunningham. The letter stated: “It is for us a straightforward decision to underline our view of illegal poisoning. Frankly, we condemn it out of hand and it has to stop. “The message must go out to the people who indulge in such criminal behaviour that what they do is totally unacceptable to the overwhelming majority who have the true interests of the countryside at heart.

“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that message is conveyed across the land management sector. We do not presume guilt nor refer to any particular incident, but the apparent deliberate poisoning of protected species in recent years has left us utterly dismayed.

“We also support the full weight of the law being brought to bear on those who are involved in illegal poisoning and endorse the efforts of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime, in which our representative organisations are active and enthusiastic participants.”

The estates said that while wildlife crime had been repeatedly deplored by land management and rural organisations, efforts to eradicate illegal poisoning would be strengthened by individual owners and estates stating their position clearly.

Every estate contacted last year signed the letter and other estates have added their signitures declaring their support subsequently.

The signatories to date are as follows:

Lord Aberdeen, Haddo Estate, Ellon

The Earl of Aboyne, Aboyne Estate, Aboyne

James Adamson, Careston Castle, Brechin

Ailsa 1983 Trust, Culzean Estate, Maybole

Ailsa Continuing Trust, Cassillis Estate, Maybole

David Allingham, Gualin Estate, Lairg

Paul Anthony, Mid Bellandy Estate, Glenrinnes

The Duke of Argyll, Argyll Estates

The Hon Philip Astor, Tillypronie Estate, Aberdeenshire

Alan Bailey, Spital Tower, nr Denholm

Alex Baillie, Dochfour Estate, Inverness

Lord Balneil, Balcarres Estate, Fife

Andrew Barbour, Bonskeid Estate, Pitlochry

N R D Barlow, The Park, Earlston

Dick Bartlett, Grouse moor operator in Grampian/Highlands

Victor Beamish, Moy Estate

Patrick Benson, Old Parr House, Minto, Denholm

J Billett, Kintradwell Estate, by Brora

Simon Blackett, Invercauld Estates, Braemar

Blackhills Estate, Elgin

Nick Boileau, Hope Estate, Lairg

Luke Borwick, Blair Estate, Dalry

Ewen Brodie, Lethen Estate, Nairn

Andrew Brough, Bowhill Estate, Selkirk

Michael Bruce, Glen Tanar Estate, Aboyne

The Duke of Buccleuch, Buccleuch Estates

Robin Buchanan, Dalcross Estate, Croy

James Burnett, Leys Estate, Kincardineshire

Andrew Buxton, Drumcluan, Kincraig

Morag Cadzow, Muirend Farm, Broxburn

Donald Cameron, Lochiel Estates, Achnacarry

Pete Campbell, Balblair, Bonar Bridge

Patrick Campbell Fraser, Borthwickshiels

Thomas Cattanach, Newton Farm, Garmouth

Nigel Cayzer, Kinpurnie Estate, Blairgowrie

Gavin Chapman, Kinloch Estate, St Fergus

Rod Christie, Cotts Farm, Elgin

Mary Coltman, Haystoun, Peebles

David Cranstoun, Corehouse Estate, Lanark

Ian F and Evelyn Crombie, Over Rankeilour Farms, Cupar

Angus Crow, Glenlethnot Estate, Angus Glens

Lord Dalhousie, Dalhousie Estates, Brechin

Lord Dalmeny, Dalmeny Estates, South Queensferry

Patrick and Gillian Dalton, Milrighall, by Selkirk

Capt Ian C De Sales La Terriere, Dunalastair Estate, by Pitlochry

Peter H J de Vink, Huntly Cot, Temple

The Hon Mrs Anastasia D Delap, Achadunan Estate, Cairndow

James Dick, Andersons Northern, agricultural consultants

R P Douglas Miller, Horseupcleugh, Duns

Lord Doune, Moray Estates, Berryley

Sir Archibald Ranulph and Lady Amelia Dunbar, Duffus Estate, Elgin

James Duncan Millar, Remony Estate, Remony

Richard Eliott Lockhart, Cleghorn, near Lanark

Tom Eyre, Burnend Farm, Grange

Andrew Farquharson, Finzean Estate, Banchory

Andrew Feilden, Ardverikie Estate, Kinlochlaggan

James Findlay, Whiterow House, Forres

Finegand Estate Ltd, Glenshee, Perthshire

George C Fleming, Grange of Aberbothrie, Alyth

Sir George I D Forbes-Leith, Fyvie Estate, Turriff

Hugh and Ann Fraser, Overwells, Jedburgh

Hugh Fullarton-Smith, European Nature Trust

David Fyffe, Fetternear, Kamnay

G.B.B Estates Ltd, Inverasdale Estate, Wester Ross

James Galbraith, Rawflat, Ancrum

Jamie Gammell, Alrick, Glenisle

Gask Estate, Auchterarder

Stephen Gibbs, Dougarie Estate, Isle of Arran

Joe Gibbs, Belladrum Estate, Beauly

J Mark Gibson, Craigengillan Estate, Dalmellington

Michael Gibson CBE, Edinvale, Dallas

John Gilmour, Balcormo Mains, Leven

Nicholas Gilmour, Montrave Estate, Leven

Robert Gladstone, Capenoch Estate, Penpont

Charles Gladstone, Fasque and Glendye Estates, Kincardineshire

Glenmazeran Estate

Andrew Duncan Gordon, Lude Estate, Blair Atholl

Sir Alistair Gordon Cumming, Altyre Estate

Alex and Priscilla Gordon-Duff, Drummuir Castle Estate, Drummuir

Heather Gow, Strathmore Estate, Altnaharra

Sir Archibald Grant, Monymusk Estate, Monymusk

Johnnie and James Grant, Rothiemurchus Estate, Aviemore

Mr and Mrs James Greenwood, Lairg Estate, Lairg

John Guthrie, Rosehaugh Estate, Black Isle

Hugh Halcro-Johnston, Orphir House, Orkney

The Marquess of Hamilton, Ardchyline and Minto Estates

Richard Harington, Strathrusdale and Crannich Estate, Easter Ross

Malcolm Hay, Edinglassie Estate, Glass, Huntly

Ruaraidh Hilleary, Edinbane Estate

Peter and Charlotte Hingston, Fairburn Estate, Urray

David Houldsworth, Dallas Estate, Forres

Andrew Howard, Little Blervie, Forres

E C M Humphrey, Dinnet and Kinord Estates, Aboyne

Charlotte Hunt, Keir Hill, Balfron

Jamie Ingall, Airds Estate, Mossdale

Adrian Ivory, Ruthven and Cardean Farms, Wester Cardean

James R Jeffrey, Halls, Dunbar

Lord Johnstone, Annandale Estates, St Ann’s

Lord Joicey, Loch Choire Estate, Ford and Etal Estates

Lord Kennedy, Morrison Farms

Tim J Kirkwood, CKD Galbraith

Alasdair Laing, Logie Estates, Forres

Murdoch Laing, Scardroy

Simon W D Laird, East Memus, Forfar

Kurt Larson, Kingairloch Estate, Kingairloch

Margaret A Lascelles, Straloch, Enochdhu

PJ Lewis, Cotfield, Melrose

Miranda Lindsay, Taymount Estate, Stanley

The Earl of Lindsay, Lahill, Upper Largo

Paul Lister, Alladale Wilderness Lodge and Reserve, Ardgay

James Lithgow, Ormsary Estate, Lochgilphead

John Lithgow, Inver Estate, Isle of Jura

Angus Macdonald Lockhart, Lee and Carnwath Estates, Shawfield

Marquis of Lothian, Lothian Estates, Jedburgh

David Lowes, Glenfalloch Estate, Ardlui

Luss Estates Company, Luss Estates, Arnburn

Peter Macdonald, Waterheads, Eddleston

Thomas MacDonnell, Glenfeshie Estate, Kincraig

Rob and Christine Mack, Muirton Mains, Fairburn

John Mackenzie, Gairloch and Conon Estates, Conon Bridge

Alex Mackenzie Smith, Newrow Farm, Methven

Gavin and Suzanne MacKessack-Leitch, Carden, Inchstelly and Rheeves, Moray

Celia Mackintosh, Moy Estate

Angus Maclay, Whitelee, St Boswells

Ewen MacPherson, Attadale Estate, Strathcarron

Gordon Macpherson, Arinackaig Estate

Alastair Macphie, Glenbervie Estate, Stonehaven

Malcolm Macrae, Breckness Estate, Orkney

Robin Maitland, Strutt and Parker

The Hon Gerald Maitland-Carew, Thirlestane Castle, Lauder

Lord Margadale of Islay, Islay Estates Company, Bridgend

Charles Marsham, Rispond Estate, Durness

David Matthews, Blackwood Estate, Auldgirth

Michael Maxwell Stuart, Baitlaws, Biggar

Doug McAdam, Cuil an Duin, Ballinluig

Keith McKellar, Hannah Research Institute, Ayr

Angus McMillan Douglas, nr Forfar

Andrew Mickel, Mactaggart and Mickel

Mark Molyneux, Morsgail Estate, Isle of Lewis

Hector Munro, Foulis Farms, Evanton

Lord Neidpath, Wemyss and March Estates, Longniddry

Malcolm Nicol, Ballogie Estate, Aboyne

Mark Nicolson, Mar Estate, Braemar

Sir Francis Ogilvy, Winton House, Pencaitland

Sir Archibald Orr-Ewing, Cardross Estate, Port of Monteith

Mrs Emma Paterson, Barncroft of Auchlyne, Killin

Mark Pattinson, Lochcarron Estate, Wester Ross

James and Margaret Payne, Ardvar Estate, Drumbeg

The Hon Charles Pearson, Dunecht Estates, Dunecht

Colonel Timothy Purdon, Coatefield House, Wiltshire

W B Ramsay, Chesthill Estate, Perthshire

Dr Sigrid Rausing, Coignafearn Estate, Tomatin

Lisbet Rausing, Corrour Estate, Fort William

David and Chrissie Reid, Portmore Estates, Peebles

Alastair J Riddell, Chesthill Estate, Balintyre

Patrick Ross Taylor, Littlegill, Biggar

The Duke of Roxburghe, Roxburghe Estate, Kelso

James Ruggles-Brise, Ledgowan Estate, Achnasheen

Andrew Salvesen, Findrack and Tillyfour Estates, Banchory

Cmdr Thomas Stephen Sampson, Mains of Balgavies

Alison Sangster, Old Hall, Watten

Colin Sangster, Old Hall, Watten

Robert Schiller, Craigdarroch, Moniaive

Ewen and Jenny Scobie, Rhidorroch Estate, Ullapool

Alexander Scott, Gelston Castle Estate, Castle Douglas

William Thomas Scott, Meiklewood, Gargunnock

Joe Scott-Plummer, Mainhouse, Kelso

The Earl of Seafield, Seafield and Strathspey Estates

David Seed, Cothill Farm, Duns

Christo Shepherd, Pitmillan, Newburgh

Walter Simpson, Downhill, Glendevon

Matthew Sinclair, Knocknalling, St John’s Town of Dalry

Donna Skelly, Grigor and Young

The Hon Philip Smith, Coulin Estate, Kinlochewe

Robert Smyly, Sunderland Hall, Galashiels

Frank Spencer-Nairn, Culligran Estate, Struy

Michael Spencer-Nairn, Struy Estate

Edward Sprot, Garnkirk Estate, Stepps

Lord Stair, Stair Estates, nr Stranraer

John Steel, Ashentully

Tony Stevenson, Selkirk

Mike Stevenson, Fawside, nr Gordon

J C Stewart, Arndean, Dollar

Lord Stormont, Mansfield Estates

Malcolm Strang Steel, Greenhead of Arnot, Leslie

Michael Strang Steel, Philiphaugh Estate, Selkirk

Viscount Strathallan, Stobhall Estate, Stobhall, Perth

David Sumsion, Ardkinglas Estate, Cairndow

Sutherland Estates, Golspie

Alistair Swanson, Tister, Halkirk

Susie Swift, Kintail House, Inverness

Chris Swift, South Clunes Farm, Inverness

Adrian Sykes, Kinloch Estate, Tongue

Mr H D Teacher, Fealar Estate

Mark Tennant, Innes Estate, Elgin

Major Alexander Trotter, Mortonhall and Charterhall

H P Trotter, T/A Printonan Farm

J H Trotter, Mordington Farm, Berwick upon Tweed

Sarah Troughton, Atholl Estates, Blair Atholl

Daye Tucker, Carbeth Home Farm, Balfron

Jonathan Michael Turnbull, Strone Estate, Cairndow

William Pratesi Urquhart, Craigston Estate, Turriff

James Vestey, Ormiston, Hawick

James Vestey, Benmore Estate, Lairg

George Vestey, Inchnadamp Estate

Sir Andrew Walker, Glenmuick Estate, Ballater

Dee Ward, Rottal Estate, Angus Glens

Johnny Watson, Lewinshope

Welbeck Estates, Berriedale, Sutherland

The Duke of Westminster, Reay Forest Estate, Achfary

Jamie Williamson, Alvie Estate, Kincraig

Simon Winton, Dalmunzie Estate, Glenshee

Charles Wolrige-Gordon, Esslemont Estate, Ellon

Wylye Valley Farming Limited, Aberarder Estate, Strathnairn

RSPB Scotland welcomed the letter – “We are glad that a lead has been taken in the light of recent reported crimes and others that are still under investigation,” said an RSPB spokesman.

“The use of illegal poisons and traps must not be tolerated and has no place in a modern Scotland. Estate owners and managers now need to take responsibility for getting this message across to their staff, and rooting this problem out once and for all.

“Killing adult golden eagles, red kites and other scarce species is a very serious crime; more serious than the theft of eggs in terms of its impact at a population level, and the courts must use the sentencing options they have to send an unequivocal message to wildlife criminals.”

20 comments to Scotland’s Shooting Estates issue Unprecedented Statement on Wildlife Crime.

  • Paul Risley

    Hopefully the start of a giant step in the right direction, well done by those involved and lets hope the shooting organisations and press get behind and support these estates.

  • Rik

    What exactly does this prove?

    • Admin

      What needs to happen now Rik, the responsible estates who have signed this letter now need to apply peer pressure upon those estates responsible for what is taking place eslewhere in Scotland. We also think it would be a good idea if there was a second list naming the owners of each estate where poisoning incidents have been recorded in Scotland.

  • John Miles

    All these estates now have to have Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Hen Harrier breeding on them. All producing normal numbers of young per pair and happy to see them flying over the moor on shooting days. All 3 species are shot to prevent damage on shooting days not just for taking Red Grouse!!

    • Mike Groves

      Hi John,

      Surely you can’t make a blanket statement like ‘All these estates now have to have Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Hen Harrier breeding on them, etc.’

      Many of these estates simply won’t have the appropriate breeding habitat/food supply for these particular specialised raptors.

  • James

    I don’t have the technical ability, but it should be possible to create some sort of online map of these estates, and match it up against suspected persecution incidents

  • Dave

    I don’t think it proves much Rik. There are estates not signed up with successful breeding raptors including golden eagle & there are ones signed up such as Moy where poisoned birds including kite were found last year & Logie where a sea eagle was found dead in December & although the body of this was removed before the police arrived I think we can safely rule out suicide. Its absurd to expect all estates to have breeding eagle, peregrine & harrier; the RSPB’s Abernethy reserve does’t even have the latter.

  • nirofo

    All that this is is a useful list of Scottish estates and the owners who perpetrate or abet Wildlife Crime on their lands, might come in handy some time. As for anything else, I wouldn’t trust any of them as far as I could see them !!!


  • Coop

    Nice one nirofo!

  • paul williams

    you can sign a cheque but you don’t have to honour it!

  • Paul Risley

    The following link should take you to an article that appeared in the new york times on july 24th 1892. It a bit long winded in places but I think you’ll find it interesting.

    What it shows is how long this persecution problem has existed and how long people on both sides of this issue have argued over it.
    Just my opinion but I do believe a lot of the shooting community are generally embarrassed by the stupid actions of certain estates and the bad publicity and resentment it’s causing to their industry. Take the recent White Tailed Eagle incident as an example of the damage this is doing to Scotland’s communities, how much income would the first mainland nesting pair of these birds generate for a community? (Forgive me here if its already happened and the RSPB have been slow on the uptake) We’re talking millions of pounds in eco tourism alone, yet some selfish idiot leaves out poison bait, whether or not intended for an eagle it’s an indiscriminate killer and now there’s nothing.
    Hopefully sooner rather than later some people will eventually sit down and sort this mess out to a satisfactory solution for both parties concerned but I do think both sides will have to make concessions.

  • jock scott

    Please be aware that this is very old news. It was actually released in May 2010 and was prompted by the eagle poisoning incident at Skibo Estate.

    The list was reported here -

    And exposed as a sham here –

    As reported it would be prudent to note that several of the estates on this list have either a history of raptor persecution or indeed are currently being investigated for recent alleged persecution incidents.
    It is quite irresponsible to regurgitate this story at this time. Why? Becuse the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) bill reaches its final stage next week, and uninformed MSP’s may view your post, prior to their vote, and wrongly assume that estates are working hard to stamp out raptor persecution. They may well then be less inclined to vote for harsher penalties against the perpetrators of these disgraceful illegal activities.

    • Admin

      We take on board all you say but do not agree with your last point. Raptor Politics will shortly be publishing a second report detailing the huge numbers of confirmed raptor persecution incidents recorded in Scotland during the last twenty one years. This information clearly shows poisoned raptors continue to be found on many of the estates named. We are informed that members of the Scottish Parliament already have been given copies of this letter, so what ever is published by RP will not make any difference in our opinion.

  • picti

    give the so called lord and lady mucks of these estates as well as there lackies a criminal record, because criminals they are by allowing this to happen. and while we are on this subject, there is another portion of society who kill just as many birds of prey if not more, hawks and falcons being there main victims.pigeon fanciers who think they can do this with immunity, and seem to be getting away with it,using other live birds to trap the raptors, shooting and poisoning.

  • Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for info about this subject for a while and yours is the best I have came upon till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?|What i don’t understood is in reality how you’re now not really a lot more well-preferred than you might be now.

  • Doug Bates

    you’re right to draw attention to parallel crimes by the pigeon fancier community, and of course there are other victims of gamekeepers’ crimes besides the raptors… The fish predators, herons and otters figure high on the list. I’ve personally witnessed such illegal kills and I’m glad to say one gamekeeper lost his job over it and got a criminal record to boot.

    On the whole I believe we are moving in the right direction towards better conservation but the collection of evidence for wildlife crimes is still sadly inadequate and the number of successful prosecutions relative to the number of reported incidents is still scandalously low.

  • inggris

    Found this blog yesterday, very impressed. Wishing you and the work you carry out to expose the illegal killing of all wildlife the very best, please keep it up.

  • Border gun

    Bit of a joke Mary Coltman from Peebles signing this. Her gamekeeper was recorded taking perigrine chicks from a nest and is well known for killing all birds of prey yet she still employs him.

  • Josie

    Years ago I lived on the Strathconon Estate, in Ross-shire as a tenant. The then gamekeeper, a neighbour of mine, befriended me and admitted, and even bragged, on more than one occasion about how he trapped and killed the wildlife – he mentioned birds of prey, their eggs and young, red kites especially, and also, the Scottish wildcat which was occasionally be seen in those parts. He used to go off on his own into the hills for days at a time to carry out his evil and disgusting activities. Don’t think he was ever caught.

    Editor’s Comment. Thanks for your comment Josie, we can assure you not much has changed.