First detailed map of Scotland’s native woodlands – FCS launch

Richard Cooke, Chairman of both the Association of Deer Management Groups and the Lowland Deer Network Scotland said:

“This new piece of work, which we have not yet had time to study, will be extremely helpful in focusing deer management on areas where there are specific issues in relation to deer and native woodlands.

“We do believe however that there has been a significant turnaround in the last 30 years in the impacts of deer on native woodland and it is too easy to blame deer at every turn when other factors, for example grazing from other herbivores and now widespread tree disease, are also taking their toll.

“Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) is a major participant in the deer management sector in Scotland both across the upland red deer range and in low ground areas where considerable new planting is being undertaken. Let’s not forget that deer are also an asset, and that a balance must be struck taking into account environmental, economic and social factors.

“The conclusion we draw is that effective deer management planning is vital particularly at the early stages of any planting or regeneration programme in order to reduce impacts, and making use of all available tools, including fencing. That is nothing new.”

From the deer management perspective it is all too easy to focus on the negatives – there is much on the positive side that we can draw from this new dataset also.