A sporting estate whose ban from shooting or trapping wild birds has been extended for a further two years has said it is considering an appeal against the ruling. 

Scottish Government conservation body NatureScot has said that the restriction on "general licenses" at the Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire will now last until 2023 after additional evidence was uncovered

However, a spokesman for Leadhills has questioned the justification for the extra two-year prohibition, saying that it has not been shown the evidence behind the decision. 

READ MORE: Sporting estate has an on killing wild birds extended after fresh evidence uncovered

The the killing of wild birds has been prohibited on the esate since 2019 in response to police evidence of crimes against wild birds occurring on the land.

This included signs of the illegal killing of raptors, chiefly three hen harriers, one short-eared owl and two buzzards, and the illegal disturbance of a wild bird nest.


A hen harrier in flight 

Leadhills Estate encompasses approximately 19,500 acres, mixed between farming and grouse moors. It is owned by two Trusts, the Leadhills Trust and Glengeith Trust.

The estate's spokesman said: “The estate is extremely disappointed by this decision and is actively considering an appeal against it.

"We have yet to see the evidence leading to this decision and have been requesting this information from the relevant authorities.

"Without that evidence, we question the justification for such a decision, which is likely to have an impact on wildlife on the estate."

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General licences are granted to landowners or land managers to carry out actions which would otherwise be illegal, including controlling common species of wild birds to protect crops or livestock.

The spokesman added: "There has been no commercial driven grouse shooting on the estate for several years and the moorland is managed on a care and maintenance basis.

"The estate has a zero tolerance approach to wildlife crime and has robust compliance systems in place.

"Employees are fully aware of their responsibilities with regard to the conservation of wildlife and we are confident that wildlife crimes have not been committed by anyone employed on the estate.”