- 9 Mar 2021
Date received: 11 Jan 2021
Date responded: 4 Feb 2021
How much public money has been spent on capercaillie in the last 30 years, including funds/grants from such NGOs/government bodies such as SNH/Forestry Commission etc.
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
Unfortunately, we only hold details of funding provided by the Scottish Government and Scottish Forestry (formerly Forestry Commission Scotland).
The answer to your question is as follows:
- The Scottish Government has paid out £781,452 through the Rural Priority (RP) Scheme’s Capercaillie Package.
- The Forestry Grant Scheme, delivered through the Scottish Rural Development Programme and Scottish Forestry, will provide £307,759 of support specifically for Capercaillie between 2016 and 2025.
Other Scottish Government funding in support of habitat management may have benefited capercaillie but where not specifically provided for this species no breakdown is available.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold information on financial support that may have been provided by NGOs, NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) or other relevant public bodies, such as the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), on how much public money, including funds/grants, has been spent on capercaillie over the last 30 years. Therefore we are refusing that part of your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.
This exception is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about how much public money has been spent on capercaillie in the last 30 years, including funds/grants from such NGO’s/government bodies such as SNH or the Cairngorm’s National Park Authority (CNPA), clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
However, you may wish to contact NatureScot and the CNPA at the following contact details who may be able to help you. The CNPA will, for example, be able to provide information on The Cairngorms Capercaillie Project.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House