Bracken: Scottish Working Group - terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Scottish Bracken Working Group.


On 29 August 2023, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands and the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity convened a stakeholder roundtable meeting to discuss bracken and its management.  

Actions from the meeting are as follows: 

  • establishment of a small working group to continue engagement and lead on next steps including further evidence gathering
  • updated guidance for all land managers to be in place for the 2024 season via support of the UK Bracken Strategic Framework

The manufacturers ceased further work to support Asulox in October 2023. Without additional data, no further authorisations to use Asulox can be applied for and it will no longer be available for bracken control in the UK. 


The main purpose of the Scottish Bracken Working Group is to monitor progress if the agreed actions from the bracken roundtable meeting. In addition, the group will:

  • provide a forum for engagement on work related to bracken and its management, bringing together different sectors to share knowledge
  • identify key research or evidence gathering requirements, including consideration of how evidence gaps can be addressed
  • help form advice to Scottish Ministers on the progress of current actions and the developing evidence base

The Scottish Bracken Working Group will not take decisions on behalf of Scottish ministers. It will run alongside, and liaise with, the UK-wide Bracken Management Group.

Ways of working and communication

The Scottish Bracken Working Group will meet on a quarterly basis for 12 months, after which its purpose and remit will be reviewed. Any member may propose items for the agenda.

As far as possible, an agenda will be circulated one week before each meeting and notes of meetings will be circulated one week after each meeting. Members should be aware that information they give may be subject to Freedom of Information Requests.

Scottish Government officials will chair the meetings and will provide the secretariat.


Membership rests with the following organisations. It is the responsibility each participant to ensure that they are aware of, and will feed in, views of other organisations/colleagues that they represent.

  • Bracken Control Group (representing all members of the BCG)
  • Forestry and Land Scotland
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Moorland Forum
  • National Farmers Union Scotland
  • NatureScot
  • RSPB
  • Scottish Environment Link
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Scottish Forestry
  • Scottish Government – Agriculture Policy Division
  • Scottish Government – Natural Resources Division 
  • Scottish Land and Estates 

Other organisations may participate in meetings where appropriate. Sector specialists may be invited to attend meetings depending on the topics up for discussion.


The main contact for the secretariat is Alanis MacIver ( 

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