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Glen Tanar award for trail blazing capercaillie
work
The sterling work Glen Tanar Estate, near Aboyne, has undertaken over the
last few years to enhance habitat for capercaillie was recognised recently with
the presentation of the Green Butterfly Award from Aberdeenshire
Environmental Forum. Glen Tanar is a Special Protection Area, under
European law, and is an internationally important site for capercaillie.
The conservation work carried out in conjunction with Scottish Natural
Heritage began with making sure that the birds had enough food to eat. All
around the edges and even within the Caledonian pinewood, the estate staff
have been busy burning, swiping, strimming, and clearing patches of heather
and bracken, as well as thinning the woods to encourage the growth of
blaeberry, an important food plant of capercaillie. Blaeberry provides
caterpillars and other insect life for the chicks to eat, and the leaves and
berries are a favourite of adult birds.
In addition to a good and reliable food supply, capercaillie need shelter for
protection against the elements and predators. In response to this the estate
staff built many brushwood shelters and created a number of forest thickets in
which the capercaillie and their chicks can find refuge.
On occasion birds collide with fences while on one of their low flights though
the forest. To reduce this occurring, the estate removed fences where
possible and have marked essential fences to make them more visible to the
birds.
As part of the work some new and innovative techniques such as controlled
burning under the canopy, have been trialled and proved successful for
creating capercaillie habitat within the depths of the forest. This work has
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made a valuable contribution to the knowledge on how to manage woodlands
for Scotland’s biggest grouse and should be of use to other land managers.
Barry Dunne from Scottish Natural Heritage, who supports the estate in their
management of Glen Tanar National Nature Reserve, said: “This exciting
work has created great habitat for capercaillie and we are hoping their
numbers will respond positively as a result over the next few years.”
Michael Bruce, the estate owner said: “The estate are delighted to receive this
award which we hope will highlight awareness of capercaillie and the issues
associated with their conservation. To explain the project the estate have
created a website, interpretive panels, leaflets and guided site visits which the
public can enjoy and take part in when they visit the estate.”
Brian Martin of Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum said: “We are very
pleased to be able to award Glen Tanar Estate with the Green Butterfly Award
which recognises work which contributes to the enhancement of the natural
environment as well as the conservation of nature's resources.”
Further information:
Eric Baird, Ranger, Braeloine Visitor Centre, Glen Tanar, Aboyne 01339
886072, [email protected], http://www.glantanar.co.uk/capercaillie.htm
Brian Martin, Secretary of the Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum,
Heathervale, Fyvie, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, AB53 8RQ. Tel: 01651 891336.
Email: [email protected]
Barry Dunne, Area Officer Aberdeenshire South, Scottish Natural Heritage
01224 642863 email [email protected]
Heather Kinnin, Press & Public Relations Officer, Scottish Natural Heritage
0131 446 2274 email [email protected]
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