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Published: 2 Jun 2021

Standards 1-4: Management planning

A plan is essential to ensure your wild land management has a solid foundation.

Drawing up a management plan is an important part of managing land effectively. A plan should help you articulate your aims and objectives and tie them to key actions. It should also provide a benchmark by which you can measure performance and outcomes.

Developing a plan enables you to engage with stakeholders, drawing on their input and ensuring they understand what you are trying to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. It should also serve as a reference point for everyone working on the land, pulling them together under one wild land management vision.

1. Audit existing state

You should survey all archaeology and man-made structures, soils, biodiversity, habitat and species records, deer and livestock numbers. A lot of this information will already exist so the starting point should be to pull together all data from previous surveys as well as information from other sources.

2. Survey and monitor

A programme of monitoring work should be established to record habitats and species on the property. Exclosures should be set up, where possible, to determine the potential for regeneration in the absence of grazing animals. Human factors, such as the numbers of visitors and cars using car parks, should also be recorded.

3. Develop SMART actions

Managers should produce a clear set of objectives that will govern the future management of the property in line with the Wild Land Management Standards. These objectives should be SMART; that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

4. Consult stakeholders

Stakeholders should be identified and consulted in the process of defining objectives. Stakeholders include people or organisations who will be affected by your land management. They could include graziers, tenants, neighbouring landowners, government agencies and organisations representing recreational users and other communities of interest.

Useful links

Scottish Archaeology
English Archaeology
Scottish Designated Sites
English Designated Sites
Scottish Deer Habitat Monitoring
English Deer Habitat Monitoring
Schiehallion management plan
Local Nature Reserve Planning Guidance
Guidance on Community Consultation for Land use Planning