East Ross DMG News – February 2019

Posted by on Aug 15, 2019 in News and Events | 0 comments

Following the ‘Review of Deer Management’ in 2016, the Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, set out the Scottish Government’s expectations for deer management throughout the country. SNH have been charged with carrying out assessments and reviewing how each Deer Management Group is performing against a number of Benchmarks.

The Easter Ross Deer Management Group has been working closely with SNH staff to highlight strengths and weaknesses. Our group is formed by owners and staff who meet regularly, work to an agreed Management Plan and continue to strive to adopt Best practice methods.

Our assessment will take place shortly and will be completed by SNH by 15th May. They will look at the makeup of the Group, how our business and Meetings are conducted, and how our Management Plan is implemented. In particular SNH will check that proper deer counts have been carried out, culling programmes are adhered to, staff are properly trained and habitat monitoring is being undertaken to an agreed format.

Clearly there is much more detailed analysis that will take place and the Group will be happy to share this with interested parties. The Group fully accepts that we live in an ever changing world and that being open is really important. Managing an iconic species like Red Deer is not a simple task.

Deer wander onto roads and love eating young trees as we strive to increase native woodlands. The siting of fencing, the protection of crops and gardens and the production of venison all add to the task of finding a balanced solution.

One new area that the Group is looking at is the Governments Peatland Action Project. There are approximately 2 million acres of peatlands in Scotland and a large proportion of this is in poor condition. The Project, run by Scottish Natural Heritage, aims to restore peatland in order to maintain carbon stores and encourage carbon sequestration. This in turn will assist ecosystems to regain their balance and offer educational opportunities from primary schools to higher academic research. Interesting times and much to learn, but we are keen to look to the long-term, not just for a few years hence.

We will let you know how matters progress but we are embarking on a survey of the whole of the Easter Ross Deer Management Group’s area. This may well result in individual estates carrying out specific projects or a collaborative approach being adopted. We look forward to hearing what the experts tell us.

Please feel free to contact me on any deer related matter and I will ensure, as Secretary to the Group, that your enquiry is answered or directed to the correct quarter.

Gordon Robertson. Secretary to the Easter Ross Deer Management Group

Email.          swordale@gmail.com

Telephone.    07825 371324

Website.     www.deer-management.co.uk