Wednesday, 16 August 2017

OFFICE CLOSURE- TECHNICAL PROBLEMS (NOW FIXED)

We are pleased to say that, following successful resolution of our technical problems regarding connectivity in the SGA office, we are now back up and running.
The office will be open from 9am-1pm today and tomorrow and will be back to full service next week. Thank you for your patience as this matter was resolved.



Friday, 4 August 2017

WINNER OF 2017 RONNIE ROSE MEMORIAL TROPHY ANNOUNCED


SGA Chairman Alex Hogg today announced the winner of the 2017 Ronnie Rose Memorial Trophy as David Howarth. See press release below.

A Speysider whose quarter century of research into reducing diseases which impact on Scotland’s iconic moorland bird, the red grouse, has landed a major award for his work.
David Howarth (64) ran a guesthouse before an early interest in the countryside morphed into a career, monitoring the impacts of parasites on the breeding success of the native bird in the mountains close to his Kingussie home.
During 25 years at Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, David – who started with no scientific qualification- gained respect for his research into how gut worms and tick affect grouse breeding.
Working with local gamekeepers, his hours spent on the high tops of the Cairngorms National Park in all weathers helped inform new management approaches to reducing the parasites which cause cyclical fluctuations in red grouse populations.
Today (Friday) his research work was recognised with him receiving the Ronnie Rose Memorial Trophy for Conservation and Education, presented by Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing.
The award, inaugurated by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association in honour of late conservationist, forester and author, Ronnie Rose MBE, is for lasting contributions benefitting Scotland’s land and rivers.
“It is a real honour to receive this award,” said David. “My work, particularly in the last 20 years, focused on diseases which were having a deleterious affect on grouse populations. 
“If you manage to reduce the disease burdens, naturally you get greater productivity. This benefits the grouse as a bird. On a local level, it also benefits the nearby sporting estates which helps, in turn, to finance the continued management of the moorlands in the area. This management benefits other species, as well as having wider economic benefits.
“When my wife and I moved here in 1990, the estate behind us employed 2 gamekeepers, now there are 6. When I gave talks with the Trust, I always tried to explain to people that the heather hills people love are not just there, naturally or by accident. It is the gamekeepers out there, 
largely unseen, managing the heather and keeping a lid on the predators that makes it look the way it is. It is important that message is not lost in future.”
SGA Chairman Alex Hogg said the work of researchers like David had helped to create stability and employment in rural communities and encouraged people to invest in the countryside.
“Like farmers and other land managers, grouse estates need a level of confidence that the area they are working in is sustainable.
“The work of people like David in helping us understand how populations fluctuate with disease, and how to minimise that where possible, has led to employment for gamekeepers and other land managers such as shepherds, who will manage hill sheep in order to reduce tick burdens. 
“Although not a scientist by training, David established very good relations with practical people and his work makes him highly deserving of this award.”


Friday, 28 July 2017

RONNIE ROSE AWARD SET FOR MOY HIGHLAND FIELD SPORTS FAIR


The Scottish Gamekeepers Association will be awarding the Ronnie Rose Memorial Trophy for conservation and education for the third time at Moy Highland Field Sports Fair next Friday (August 4th 2017).
Members and supporters hoping to see the presentation of the prestigious honour, inaugurated in memory of the late Ronnie Rose MBE, should arrive at the SGA stand just before 11am.
SGA Chairman Alex Hogg will announce the winner before handing over to Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP to present the silverware to this year's lucky winner.
Also in the stand at Moy over the two days will be the team from CIC Trophy Measuring who proved as popular as ever at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair at Scone.
There will be venison burgers and steaks available as well as delicious home baking and tickets for the 2017 Polaris ATV raffle.
Team SGA look forward very much to welcoming you all at the show.



Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Incident: Monadhliaths.

The SGA has a strict policy and condemns wildlife crime. Should any member be convicted of such a crime they will be removed from the membership. The SGA advocates legal solutions as the only means to solve species conflicts. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

SGA RESPONDS TO MOVES TO STRENGTHEN DEER MANAGEMENT IN SCOTLAND

GAMEKEEPERS STATEMENT ON STRENGTHENING DEER MANAGEMENT
Responding to measures announced today (June 29) by Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP for strengthening deer management in Scotland, Scottish Gamekeepers Association Chairman Alex Hogg said: “Rushing to new powers when existing ones had never been tested would have been problematic, especially when SNH were granted fresh powers last year under Land Reform legislation.
“This included the ability to levy fines of up to £40 000 for those failing to comply with deer control schemes. The measures announced today focus on using and enforcing existing legislation, which is, in our view, a logical approach.
“Challenges remain in deer management and today’s announcement targets areas where more effort and different approaches are required, such as in lowland Scotland and in urban fringes where there is a growing roe deer population.
“However, it also recognises that improvements have been made in the deer sector in the last few years and compromising that progress now would not be in the longer term interest.
“Our skilled deer managers look forward to working with Scottish Government on the way forward.”
Ends.
Today's Announcement by Roseanna Cunningham (below).

SCOTTISH GAME FAIR PROGRAMME CONFIRMED


Team SGA will be setting up at the 29th GWCT Scottish Game Fair this afternoon, ahead of the the opening day tomorrow (Friday).
And don’t worry, the MET office is telling us that the rain will stop on Friday, that Saturday is to be bathed in summer sunshine and that Sunday may be breezy but fair.
The SGA can now confirm that the official presentation for the SGA Young Gamekeeper of the Year award will take place tomorrow (Fri) at the SGA tent at 11am.
Edward Mountain MSP will make the presentation. Please come along and show your support for the next generation of skilled land managers.
At 1.30pm tomorrow we will also be hosting members of SNH’s Species Licensing team for a one hour drop-in session.
The SNH team will be on hand to answer any questions about species licensing, and their role in the department.
Please take the time to come along and ask any questions you have.
Over the three days, the SGA will be hosting acclaimed Braemar-based photographer Steven Rennie, whose images of rural land and wildlife, as well as the people who live and work in these places, have captivated so many people.
Game and Wildlife lecturers from North Highland College UHI will be on hand to seek to people about courses and careers in the game sector and we will once again have the team from CIC trophy measuring who can evaluate sporting trophies to international standard.
New SGA calendars and diaries will be available as well as tickets for the 2017 Polaris Sportsman 570 and the Hambaur Star Trailer, sponsored by Judge’s Choice Petfood Ltd to mark the 20th Anniversary of the SGA.
We’ll see you all there. 

For more details about the Fair, see: http://www.scottishfair.com


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Tail Shortening for Working Dogs Now In Force – Update

We are delighted to announce that the new legislation takes affect from today 28th June 2017.

Monday, 26 June 2017

SCONE GAME FAIR: WHAT'S ON.


The SGA is looking forward to welcoming members and supporters this weekend to the 29th GWCT Scottish Game Fair in the grounds of Scone Palace.
On Friday morning (time tbc), Edward Mountain MSP will present the 2017 SGA Young Gamekeeper of the Year award and it would be great to see as many people as possible in the tent for the announcement.
The prize is the most sought after award for an early years professional working on land or river in Scotland and the award committee will be picking from a very strong short-list of 3 final candidates.
We will update later this week on the exact time of the Young Gamekeeper award announcement.
Also on the Friday, at 1.30pm for a one-hour drop-in session, members of SNH’s Species Licensing team will be on hand to answer members’ questions regarding species licensing in Scotland as the SGA builds on its key message that legal solutions are the way to solve species conflicts.
If you have questions regarding the Wildlife and Countryside Act and legal options, please speak to the SNH team.
Over the three days, the SGA will be hosting acclaimed Braemar-based photographer Steven Rennie, whose images of rural land and wildlife, as well as the people who live and work in these places, have captivated so many people.
Game and Wildlife lecturers from North Highland College UHI will be on hand to seek to people about courses and careers in the game sector and we will once again have the team from CIC trophy measuring who can evaluate sporting trophies to international standard.
New SGA calendars and diaries will be available as well as tickets for the 2017 Polaris Sportsman 570 and the Hambaur Star Trailer, sponsored by Judge’s Choice Petfood Ltd to mark the 20th Anniversary of the SGA.
We’ll see you all there. 

For more details about the Fair, see: http://www.scottishfair.com




Rural Watch Scotland launched at Royal Highland Show

On Friday at the Royal Highland Show, Ingliston the partnership of Police Scotland, NFU Scotland and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland will launch their Rural Watch Scotland initiative.

'Rural Watch Scotland' is an extension of the Neighbourhood Watch concept and a product of the *Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) designed specifically for the rural communities of Scotland and aims to bring all the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch to rural communities irrespective of location, size or demographics.

Rural Watch Scotland launch The objectives of Rural Watch Scotland are to:
•Reduce crime and the fear of crime by providing the right information, to the right people, at the right time,
•Encourage people to think about safety and security for themselves, their neighbours and their community,
•Improve community cohesion and well-being,
•Work in partnership with national and local service providers to develop more resilient communities that are better prepared against threats, intentional or unintentional, such as crime or extreme weather.

In meeting these objectives effective communication between partners and consistent engagement with rural communities is vital. Neighbourhood ALERT, a targeted, two way messaging system specifically designed in the UK for the purposes of community engagement will play a central role in providing consistent, locally relevant and inclusive communication with people living and working within a rural setting. 

The last six months has seen the establishment of a local Neighbourhood ALERT administrator network across all areas of Police Scotland.

Rural Watch Scotland encourages people to sign up to receive alerts and advice by email, text or voicemail from local police officers and other approved information providers. Keeping communities informed about crime and other threats in their areas can help prevent crime, keep communities and residents safe, and the response to these alerts can help catch criminals or allow communities to better prepare to deal with local issues.

To sign up to receive local ALERTS users simply click the green JOIN button on the Rural Watch Website – www.ruralwatchscotland.co.uk. Experience provides that people who sign up to Rural Watch Scotland and thereafter apply the advice they receive will be less likely to be a victim of crime and be better prepared for other potential harm.

Signing up for local ALERTS does not require anyone to join or start up a formal Rural Watch scheme, however the benefits of joining or establishing such a local community group are always available.

Superintendent Gavin Robertson, who chairs the SPARC Group said: “The availability of a national Rural Watch Alert platform has been one of the main aims of SPARC since it was formed in 2015. I am pleased to see the service come to fruition. 

"I am confident that this direct messaging system will benefit rural communities and I urge farmers, foresters, rural businesses and residents as well as those who regularly visit the countryside for leisure activities to sign up to receive relevant information about rural crime in their area. I am grateful for the funding from Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, NFU Scotland and Police Scotland to bring a consistent messaging service to all rural communities across the country.”

Jamie Smart, NFU Scotland’s Legal and Technical Policy Committee Chairman, commented: “NFU Scotland has been working closely as part of the SPARC group to reduce rural crime in all its forms, and we are starting to see some real benefits from this partnership.”

“This new platform is designed to allow faster communications, alerting those in the rural communities of problems or potential problems in their own area. This service is free, can be tailored to your own requirements and only takes minutes to register.”

“We would urge all of our members to register their details to stay informed of all of the latest developments in their area.”

Detective Chief Inspector Ronnie Megaughin, Safer Communities, Police Scotland said, “We are delighted that the Rural Watch Alert messaging system is now available across Scotland. Rural Watch messaging system is an excellent facility to get relevant information to rural residents about crime and incidents in their local area and I am grateful for the support given by Neighbourhood Watch Scotland in getting us to this point”

Alan Dobie, Chair of the Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Board said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners to bring the benefits of strong, resilient and well connected communities to all the rural areas in Scotland”.

*The Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) is a multi-agency partnership that includes Police Scotland, NFU Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates, Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Scottish Government, NFU Mutual, Crimestoppers, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.

Contact Details


Call 101 for non-emergencies and general enquiries, in an emergency call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Armadale tracking project - Marine Scotland is tracking salmon from July 2017 and would like your help.


Marine Scotland is tracking salmon from July 2017 and would like your help.

If you catch a salmon with a tag (as shown in the attached photograph) near the dorsal
fin, then please remove it by cutting through the plastic cord to remove the acoustic tag
(black cylinder). Please note that the colour of the cord may vary from yellow.



Please send the acoustic tag, also with a note of day and location of capture, to:

Armadale Tracking,
Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory,
Faskally,
Pitlochry,
PH16 5LB

Please enclose your name, postal and email (if applicable) address and we will send
you £20 in reward.

If you have any other information about the fish (eg a photo, length, sex) then please
include it when you send in the tag. However, please do not delay the safe return of the
fish to the water to obtain any such information.

With thanks



The Armadale Tracking Team