Gamekeepers seek reform reassurance

AN industry body is to seek reassurance from the Scottish Government that gamekeeper, ghillie, ranger and wildlife manager’s jobs are safe in light of land reform.

Peeblesshire gamekeeper Alex Hogg chairs the Scottish Gamekeepers Association which represents 5,300 skilled workers.

He said: “Rural workers will be deeply worried at what the Scottish Government’s land reform drive, as indicated by the environment minister Paul Wheelhouse, will mean for their livelihoods.

“It seems that the voice and the jobs of keepers, who are at the sharp end of the skilled management of Scotland’s countryside, are being forgotten in this debate.

“We will be seeking clarification from the minister on what the Scottish Government and the SNP administration’s intentions are when it comes to safeguarding the jobs of those drawn into what seems to be an ideological issue.”

His comments come after a BBC documentary, The Men Who Own Scotland, on landowners and reform, screened last Wednesday.

The government’s land reform group, due to report back in April, is tasked with identifying how land reform would enable more people in Scotland to have a stake in the ownership, governance, management and use of land; and help with the acquisition and management of land by communities, and how land reform would generate, support, promote, and deliver new relationships.