THE DEADLINE for applications to the Sea Eagle Management Scheme (SEMS) has been extended to Friday 18, September 2020, to allow extra time for proposals to be put forward following the recent Covid pandemic.

The SEMS – run by Scottish Natural Heritage – offers monetary support for livestock farmers and crofters whose businesses have suffered as a result of sea eagle attacks. At the start of this year, the scheme for 2021 was revised to offer not only an acreage based payment capped at £1500 per annum, but extra cash for the likes of enhanced shepherding on the hills and support for the building of lambing sheds and polytunnels, amongst a wider range of options.

For the 2021 scheme there will also be monetary support of a minimum of £500 available to small crofts to help with mitigation measures, who previously couldn’t apply under the acreage basis.

The person responsible for managing the scheme, SNH’s Andrew Kent commented: “The Sea Eagle Management Scheme has recently been revised and the extension to the application deadline will give affected farmers and crofters more time to discuss proposals with us and develop their applications to the scheme.

“Whilst we have continued to provide advice remotely during lockdown, the extension will also allow fieldwork to take place that will help give us more information to make sure applications are as comprehensive as possible,” he continued. “Our contractors will closely follow Scottish Government guidelines to ensure they are working safely.

“The scheme can now support a wider range of management measures and we would encourage individuals interested in applying to get in touch to discuss their ideas before submitting an application. Our team of call-off contractors are also available to give advice to those experiencing issues or who would like more information on some of the newer management measures, such as enhanced shepherding or support for various capital works,” he concluded.

Before lockdown, SNH announced it would be trialling new measures to manage the birds such as expanding nest removal periods, felling coups of trees where birds were found to be nesting and exploring the possibility of egg manipulation. There was also attempts to capture and tag adult birds to determine whether longer term, problem birds could be caught and relocated elsewhere under a licensing scheme.

The deadline for applications to the Sea Eagle Management Scheme (SEMS) has been extended from Monday, August 31 to Friday, September 18, 2020. If any farmers or crofters are interested in applying, they are urged to email the SEMS mailbox at or phone 01292 294049 for further information.