Farm wildlife group in administration

Scotland’s Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group has called in the administrators.

The decision follows six weeks of uncertainty during which FWAG Scotland explored various options to try to secure a future for the charity.

The crisis came after the government-funded group saw its £340,000 annual budget slashed to £240,000 halfway through the financial year.

FWAG Scotland chairman Nigel Miller released a statement after a board meeting on Sunday (22 February) decided it was impossible for the group to continue.

“After taking professional advice it was clear but highly regrettable that the best interests of creditors and staff would be served by early liquidation.

“The FWAG Scotland Board has therefore instructed Baker Tilly to initiate the process which will lead to the appointment of a provisional liquidator.”

The closure of FWAG Scotland marks a relationship with Scottish farming which has benefited both agriculture and the environment.

NFU Scotland chief executive James Withers said: “The demise of FWAG Scotland will come as a blow to the delivery of environmental works in rural Scotland.

“Administration will come as a disappointment to those farmers who helped man its committee structure and the many producers up and down the country who supported and made use of FWAG Scotland’s advisory services.”

NFU Scotland and other organisations had requested that the Scottish government examine all options to ensure FWAG Scotland’s survival.

“The work of the individuals within FWAG Scotland over the last few weeks has been extraordinary given the extremely difficult circumstances,” said Mr Withers.

“Hopefully, their skills and enthusiasm will not be lost and those that are willing can continue to make a contribution to the industry and environment in a new form.”

Sister organisation FWAG UK remains in good financial health and is continuing its business as usual, said managing director Andy Ormiston.