New look LDNS

Lowland Deer Network 2024


The LDNS was proposed by SNH in partnership with ADMG in 2011and developed concurrently with the progress of the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act and the Code of Deer Management. In broad terms LDNS was developed as a forum/network for:

•           Low ground deer management practitioners (sportsmen, volunteer stalkers, rangers).

•           Landowners and farmers, particularly those who delegate their deer management to others.

•           Low ground deer management groups, where they exist, often embracing an identifiable, local common interest.

•           Organisations with an interest in deer management, deer welfare or the consequences of the interaction between deer and people: NatureScot, SGA, BASC, BDS, Scottish Forestry, FLS, Scottish Land & Estates, NFU Scotland, Local Authorities, Police Scotland, SSPCA, Transport Scotland.

Since its inception the LDNS Executive committee and members have worked together to develop new strategies and identify ways to better engage with private and public land managers in the Scottish Lowlands so that deer and their management can help deliver a range of public objectives.

They have taken forward and developed a range of good initiatives including skills uplift through subsidised DSC 1 courses and promotion of Best Practice particularly around HIA training.

During and since Covid the membership reduced and the events programme was reduced. As a result LDNS stagnated and in 2023 a review began which considered several options and opportunities which has resulted in a new format being drafted and actioned.

Role of LDNS from 2024 onwards

NatureScot, Transport Scotland and Scottish Forestry have identified there is a clear and continued need for a defined network and forum in which lowland deer managers can have a voice and national representation which is inherently different from existing entities such as Association of Deer Management Groups (ADMG) and the Deer Management Round Table (DMRT).

There is a clear need for NatureScot, as the deer authority, along with its partner agencies to have a mechanism to sense check and ground truth, with lowland land managers and deer stalking practitioners, the new areas of policy development and changing legislation against a backdrop of the increased focus on loss of biodiversity and the climate emergency.

With this in mind the continued support of LDNS is essential to help facilitate information exchange, and provide opportunities to improve awareness around changes to legislation, policy and practice.

This new streamlined function of LDNS is laid out in the new Terms of Reference.