Monday, 20 January 2020


The SGA Committee is delighted to announce that the 2020 Annual General Meeting with Grahams of Inverness will be held in the highland capital on Friday March 6th.

As ever, we have a varied programme of UK and international speakers lined up for the showpiece event at Caledonian Stadium, home to Inverness Caley Thistle FC.

We are also delighted to welcome the generous support, as Principal event sponsor, of outdoor clothing and equipment specialists, Grahams of Inverness, who have been supplying our members with shooting and fishing gear for many decades. 

Established in 1857, Grahams is a household name and go-to place for all gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and wildlife managers, as well as country sports enthusiasts, and the SGA is delighted to continue our association with the store and brand. Find out more about Grahams, here:

With so much change potentially afoot in our profession, the 2020 AGM is set to be a key one and seats are expected to go quickly, making prompt booking essential (See the foot of this story for how to book your seat).
The Werritty review into grouse shooting ( ) is set to change the landscape for moorland keepers and the reports of SNH ( ) and the appointed Deer Working Group will also bring deer issues further to the fore over the coming weeks ( ).
These issues, and more, will be the focus of SGA Chairman Alex Hogg’s keynote speech to attendees in Inverness.
There is political focus around pheasant releasing down south and, in Scotland, our famed salmon rivers are having to cope with a declining stock which threatens the fabric of our wild fisheries.
At the time of writing, the speaker line-up is still being fully finalised but already confirmed to travel from Iceland is Jon Helgi Bjornsson, a landowner with an insider insight into how the prolific salmon rivers of Iceland are continuing to hold stocks and retain anglers.
This will be of keen interest to our ghillie members and everyone with a stake in the health of our rivers.
Wild Deer Best Practice, and the need for everyone to reinvigorate it, will be the subject of a talk by SNH’s Alastair MacGugan before the day switches to two major health concerns in rural areas.
Dr Sally Mavin, Clinical Scientist at Scottish Microbiology Reference Laboratory at Raigmore in Inverness will be updating the floor on new research regarding Lyme Disease and early diagnosis. ( ).
We then welcome Jim Hume, Convener of the National Rural Mental Health Forum with Support In Mind Scotland, who will be discussing work to support the mental health of rural workers ( ).
“We may yet have some additions to the speaker roster but, already, we have a varied programme and we are looking forward to being back in Inverness.
“The last time we visited the highland capital on AGM day, our members had to brave the ‘Beast from the East’ and, naturally, attendee numbers were a bit lower as a result, with the speaker programme also having to be pared back, for travel reasons.
“That said, it was still a great event with fantastic speakers and a really engaged and enthusiastic audience. It is important, as a sector, for us to get together and be able to discuss the challenges- particularly the political ones- that we are all going to face in 2020 so we are looking forward to getting feedback from the members on the day,” said SGA Vice Chairman, Peter Fraser, who has been putting together the programme for some weeks.
The member-only day will begin with registration at 9am and the usual introductory refreshments. 
Anyone wishing to attend must register their place with the SGA office on or by calling 01738 587 515, to enable the staff to plan seating and catering.
Lunch will be served at the close of the speeches and members will be made aware of menu choices when booking their place.
See you in Inverness!

Thursday, 9 January 2020


The SGA Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday 6th March 2020 at Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, IVI 1FB.
All members are invited and speakers for the event from the UK and overseas are expected to be finalised shortly, with full details to follow.
Please put the date in your diary and note that booking a place is essential.
We are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the day.

If you intend to come along, please contact the office on 01738 587 515 or

Tuesday, 7 January 2020


A member wanted to highlight high carbon travel ads
A member called the SGA office after reading a copy of the RSPB member magazine, Nature’s Home. She said she was impressed with the glossy mag, Spring edition, but wanted to highlight ‘confusing messages’ about climate change in the publication. 
“It seemed like a case of do as I say, not do as I do,” was her view.
Also a member of RSPB, she said she enjoyed the conservation articles but felt the climate messages sat badly alongside ‘excessive’ pages advertising expensive and exotic foreign holidays involving high carbon travel.
There were adverts for tours to Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Americas, Canada and Patagonia despite a parallel single page on RSPB’s eco friendly travel partners.
Adverts included high carbon emission combined fly-and-drive holidays.
The main leader comment article in the magazine by the Chief Executive talked about how the charity took part in September’s global youth and climate strikes, while lamenting that evidence of our impact on the planet was all around us.
There were further articles talking about ice floes melting and new records for CO2 emissions, with pleas for politicians at the 2020 London Climate Change Summit to put the world’s future before their own interests.
Conservation Director Martin Harper used part of his column to talk about the need for urgent action to tackle climate and ecological emergency.

According to the Scottish Green Party website, "Air travel is the most polluting mode of transport by far- the amount of carbon emissions generated is significantly higher than any other common consumer behaviour.”

* On checking for accuracy, the 100 page magazine carried 14 and a half pages of international travel adverts with a further 5 pages of UK tours potentially requiring flights for those outside the British Isles -  a fifth of the magazine.
The advertising from overseas travel companies would be worth a considerable amount of money to the RSPB.

RSPB Vice President Chris Packham campaigns with Extinction Rebellion whilst also financially benefitting from overseas tours on his official website.