Scotland’s Environmental and Rural Services
Scotland’s Environment and Rural Services (SEARS) is a partnership between eight
public bodies aiming to improve the experience among land managers by working together
to provide an efficient and effective service.
Among the key service improvements since SEARS got underway in June 2008 are annual
savings of approximately £133,000 to the sheep farming industry in annual groundwater
licence charge waivers and around 5,000 less inspections for land managers.
The one door any door principle provides easy access to information and advice from
We aim to provide a consistent and responsive service, so SEARS partners will operate
a common and transparent customer care standard and SEARS staff will have knowledge
and experience beyond their normal organisational boundary.
Regular updates on SEARS and the work of the SEARS partner can be found on our News
The SEARS partners are:
This portal aims to provide customers – new and old – with background on the partnership,
relevant pieces of information and links to all the bodies involved.
Message from Stewart Stevenson
Looking back over the years since the launch of SEARS at the 2008 Royal Highland
Show, it’s encouraging to see how far the partnership has come.
The eight SEARS organisations continue to work together to provide joined-up services
to Scotland’s land managers, steadily reducing inspections and simplifying the forms
and surveys that land managers need to complete.
Collaboration between SEARS partners has enabled producers to plan for potential
disease outbreaks, and has led to the creation of a simple bio-security protocol
for staff to help prevent the spread of plant and animal disease on rural land.
Within its partner organisations, SEARS has brought about important cultural change.
It has broken down barriers and encouraged greater collaboration and skills sharing
between partners. I am especially encouraged by what I am told of the tenacious
efforts of SEARS colleagues, who work with land managers and stakeholders to explore
new opportunities to improve services.
But we are not complacent, and we recognise that more can be done. The Scottish
Government remains committed to listening to the needs of rural people and strengthening
the SEARS partnership even more in the years ahead.
My predecessors, Michael Russell and Roseanna Cunningham, have delivered an impressive
programme of improvements. I look forward to building on their legacy, working with
the SEARS partners to make further improvements for Scotland’s land managers.