LDNS AGM 2024, 23 May 2024 19:00

DRAFT Agenda

Annual General Meeting

23 May 2024.

Team call 19:00

Formal AGM.Welcome 
 Roll Call & Apologies 
 Review of the past 
 Financial reportStatement
 Activity reportGrants awarded
 The new look LDNSPapers
 Any Other Formal Business 
 Date of next AGM 
Open meeting.The Future 
Chairman’s ReportRefunds to 28 paid up members 
Projects:  Survey & Opportunities for larders.Need for sub-group members
 Cessation of grant aiding training. 
 Woodland Habitat Impact Assessments lite – 2024 
 Lowland Woodlands, what condition are they in? 
 Any Other Business 
 Date of next meeting 
Chairmanjohnbruce.bcd@gmail.com07971 174316

Lowland Deer Networks Scotland – 14/3/24

Notes from meeting


  1. Theres a sense that s7 is vey similar to DMRO and we don’t actually need DMRO.
  2. Perhaps we could just tweak s7?
  3. Uncertainty of who invokes DMRO
  4. Concern that other herbivores are being ignored and deer being demonised.
  5. Suggestion that we need ‘powers’ to effective manage the sheep.

Close Season

  1. Will NatureScot still issue female authorisation for certain periods.
  2. Will a new season (April st – Sept 30th) remove the ability to cull females in September?
  3. Concerns over orphaning; with suggestion to monitor the larders to see the ration of calves to hinds.
  4. AP – How many authorisations were issued in/for September 2023 – NatureScot  – there were 291 night licences, and 227 OoS that were active in Sept 2023 and for the most part valid until end of March 2024. We stress that this is not the number of female deer culled in September, it is only the number of authorisations that allowed for females to be shot. This does not take account of how many were utilised and indeed number of sexually mature females culled in early September which was the basis of the question.


  1. Having a DMP beyond 12 months may not be a good idea; the working man may struggle to supply such detail to far into the future.

Deer Welfare/Competence

  1. Some concerns that stalkers may be required to pay for certification and/or new training.
  2. Concern that farmers will now require DSC level 1 and this could put them off culling.
  3. Its important to remember that complete novices need to train and gain experience, and it takes time to reach the required standard.
  4. SG wants more deer culled, but it feels like they are putting barriers (level 1) in the path of the stalkers.

Venison Dealer Licence

  1. There was divide amongst the audience. Some were in favour of keeping the status quo, whilst other welcomed change.
  2. There was concern that small game dealers may go out of business.
  3. A risk that we are losing traceability.
  4. AP – Is there any evidence or effect of change of VDL in England? Outstanding and part of ongoing discussions linked to the consultation and pros / cons on removal of VDLs

D.O.N.M – 23/5/24, 7pm, online format




Known as ‘WHIALite’ this method has been developed to stand separately to the full WHIA methodology found in the woodland grazing toolbox on the Scottish Forestry website

We are currently running a series of workshops delivered by Ecologists across Scotland this Spring to train practitioners in its use. 

If you have an interest in learning more about the WHIAlite methodology then these free workshops will be of interest to you. BOOK TOUR PLCAE BY CLICKING ONTO THE SITE / EVENT LINK IN BLUE.

Although these events are FREE we do require places to be booked so we can keep track of numbers.

14 March 2024.

Consultation on “Managing deer for climate and nature”.

An evening zoom forum heard from Brodie Wilson, of the wildlife management team, the Scottish Governments ideas behind the topics included, the concept of Deer Management Nature Restoration Orders, (DMNRO), to be used on a wide landscape scale to provide a collaborative method to take positive actions to enhance the landscape, which may involve the management of herbivores, fauna and the establishment of flora.

The agenda was:

Managing deer for climate and nature consultation explainedBrodie Wilson
Theme 1: Enhancing the Natural Environment   
Theme 2: Compliance   
Theme 3: Wild deer Welfare   
Theme 4: Changes to close seasons   
Theme 5: Venison   
Theme 6: Kept and Farmed Deer 
Brief explanation of where LDNS seeks to goJohn Bruce Jamie Hammond

The notes will be posted soon.

The sound recording will be posted here:


The date for the AGM was selected as Thursday 23 May 2024.

19:00 Zoom, invitations will be sent to stakeholders who have registered their email addresses