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ABOUT THE PILOT STUDY

The highlands are an iconic feature of Scotland. The open moorland and mountain landscapes are valued and enjoyed by both residents and visitors, while these areas also provide the resources for a range of activities such as hill farming, deer stalking, game birds, forestry and fishing, which help to support the rural economy. In recent years, a number of drivers of change have affected deer management in the uplands.

These fall into three into three broad areas. First, there has been an increasing policy emphasis on managing grazing impacts through reducing deer densities, especially for priority habitats.

Second, culling and fencing associated with increased woodland planting has affected deer numbers and distribution. Third, trends in recreation coupled with the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 have led to increasing numbers of people accessing rural areas to walk in the mountains. These changes have led, in some cases, to conflicts between the legitimate objectives of landowners and the public benefits that highland landscapes provide.

An improved understanding of the nature of such conflicts might aid their management. Here, we focus on an example of where recreational land use might be impacting on the economics of deer stalking. Specifically, we report on a pilot study to identify whether available management information can be used to access trends in the abundance, culling levels, distribution and habitat preferences of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.), in order to determine whether further research into the drivers of change might be warranted

FURTHER READING

Facing the Future – BDS in 2022

Facing the Future – BDS in 2022

The past two years have been extremely challenging. Throughout the pandemic, The British Deer Society (BDS) team has worked hard and been there for our members, the deer sector and the wider public. This has been a challenge but in a time of uncertainty, reduced income and rising inflation, we controlled our costs and delivered exceptional services and support.

FSS Wild Game Guide

FSS Wild Game Guide

The Wild Game Guide (WGG) provides guidance for the Scottish wild game food sector, as well as enforcement officers, on the food hygiene legal requirements which apply to the hunting, processing and supply of wild game into the food chain.

Eat Venison – it’s Good for You and the Planet!

Eat Venison – it’s Good for You and the Planet!

Wild sourced UK Venison is a highly sustainable choice. In the UK we have thriving deer populations living in the wild that due to having no natural predators need to be managed to ensure they stay healthy and are kept in balance with their environment.

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