The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) is to inaugurate a new wildlife management award in memory of one of its most respected figures and champions.
Forestry and wildlife sectors were deeply saddened last December to hear of the passing of Ronnie Rose MBE at his home in Eskdalemuir.
A central figure in the SGA’s development, Ronnie was a passionate advocate of the work of wildlife managers in enhancing and caring for Scotland’s natural heritage.
His pioneering principles of forest design, which viewed wildlife as an asset, saw him oversee a 300 per cent increase in bird species in the forests of Eskdalemuir.
Now the SGA is to introduce an annual ‘Ronnie Rose Award’ for wildlife/game managers as part of its Year of the Rural Worker programme.
Experienced practitioners will be nominated for the award which celebrates lasting contributions to conservation, habitat, species management or rural education on river, low ground, hill or forest.
Peers, co-workers and employers can put forward individuals they feel deserving of the prize in memory of the award winning wildlife manager and author.
The winner will then be judged from a shortlist and a special trophy will be presented at this year’s Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy in August.
SGA Chairman Alex Hogg said: “Ronnie was a true giant. Wildlife management was his life and many of his ideas are now staples of forestry best practice.
“We are delighted, with the blessing of Ronnie’s family, to introduce this award in his name and it is fitting as we honour the contributions made to Scotland by the rural labour force in our Year of the Rural Worker.
“Ronnie believed that riches were derived, not from money, but from the work undertaken in respect of countryside stewardship.
“The award is open to all those who practice or educate in wildlife management and we look forward to presenting it for the first time this summer.
“Coupled with our Young Gamekeeper of the Year Award, these prizes incentivise good management practice, from young men and women embarking on a career through to experienced practitioners.”
Over a 50 year career, Ronnie Rose, whose father and grandfather were both Head Stalkers at Balmoral, received many conservation accolades including the Balfour Brown Trophy for Humane and Sustainable Management of Deer.
He helped establish the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park in Loch Lomond and his pioneering work for Economic Forestry Group Scotland at Eskdalemuir is a permanent legacy to his stewardship.
At neighbouring Blackhouse Forest, his management saw lekking blackcock rise by over 50 per cent at a time of spiralling national decline.
His book, Working with Nature: The Conservation and Management of Scottish Wildlife is still widely read and appreciated today.
** To nominate someone for the Young Gamekeeper of the Year award, contact Scottish Gamekeeper Editor on firstname.lastname@example.org and put: Young Gamekeeper award in the subject line. Give a brief description of why you think your chosen individual is deserving of consideration. Entries to be received by June 1st 2015.
Criteria for Young Gamekeeper of the Year is as follows:
- Passion for his/her field of management
- Adherence to/appreciation of the law and best practice in the delivery of duty
- A strong work ethic and willingness to learn and adapt
- A solid understanding of why sound management is important to Scotland's countryside, its economy and wildlife.