SIR, – Following your July 31 front page story, 'Sheep in retreat', we wish to highlight the work of the National Sea Eagle Stakeholder Panel. The panel aims to mitigate the impacts of white-tailed eagles on sheep and consists of a number of stakeholders, including farming and crofting representatives.

We have developed an action plan that sets out a series of actions, including delivery of the recently revised Sea Eagle Management Scheme. This scheme provides support for farmers and crofters whose sheep flocks have been impacted by white-tailed eagles.

Information about the scheme is easily available through NatureScot, NFU Scotland and Scottish Crofting Foundation and has been well publicised in The Scottish Farmer. We are disappointed that no one was contacted on this incident – NatureScot or NFU Scotland representatives would have been happy to discuss any problems with the farmer.

The farm in question is very close to SRUC’s farm at Kirkton and Auchtertyre, which is a partner in the National Stakeholder Panel.

While SRUC have observed both white-tailed and golden eagles in the area this year, they are unaware of any concerns about white-tailed eagles in the area and have not recorded any additional lamb loss on their farm. The nearest breeding white-tailed eagle pair known to the Stakeholder Panel are some distance from this location.

NFU Scotland policy team and local volunteer representatives are working closely with farmers and crofters to better understand the issues and develop management techniques for those affected; however, a lack of data from some farmers and crofters affected by white-tailed eagles makes this task more difficult.

They encourage anyone experiencing issues to contact NatureScot’ s dedicated e-mail address to engage with scheme staff at the earliest opportunity.

National Sea Eagle Stakeholder Panel

Rae McKenzie (NatureScot – chair)

David Colthart (NFU Scotland)

Andrew Kent (NatureScot)

Duncan Orr-Ewing (RSPB Scotland)

Davy McCracken (SRUC)

Penny Middleton (NFU Scotland)

Kenny Kortland (Forestry and Land Scotland)

Yvonne White (SCF)

Andrew Stevenson (NatureScot)

Grace Reid (NSA Scotland)

Jake J Sayles (NFU Scotland)

Ross Dunsmore (SGRPID)