Restriction of licences on Scottish estate
Police evidence of wildlife crime on a Scottish estate has led to the restriction of licences for three years.
Three shot Common Buzzards were found at Millden Estate in the Angus Glens in 2019. Other incidents relating to trapping offences were also documented.
Three shot Common Buzzards were found on the Millden Estate in 2019 (Geoff Snowball).
NatureScot said the estate could still apply for individual licences, but that these would be subject to enhanced record-keeping and reporting requirements and would be closely monitored. Donald Fraser, NatureScot's head of wildlife management, said the sanction was a "proportionate response" to protect wild birds in the area.
He said: "The discovery of three shot buzzards on Millden Estate, two of which were found within a bag at an estate house, as well as trapping offences and ongoing concerns relating to general licence compliance, have resulted in the suspension of the use of general licences on this property for three years until March 2026. We will continue to work closely with Police Scotland and consider information they provide on cases which may warrant restricting general licences."
Millden Estate said it was "extremely disappointed" at the decision and intended to appeal. A spokesman said: "We were shocked at the time to learn of all allegations of wildlife crime against an employee of the estate. He was subject to an extensive investigation by the police and the Crown and dealt with.
"The employee involved was suspended by the estate with immediate effect and resigned a few days later when the police investigation was still at an early stage. At no stage was the estate itself the focus of the investigation."
There are currently four other similar restrictions in place in Scotland – on Moy Estate in Highland, Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, Lochan Estate in Perthshire, and Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire.