Native woodlands inside and outside the main red deer range in Scotland
Victor Clements, independent native woodlands consultant based in Highland Perthshire and a member of the Executive Committee of ADMG reassesses the Native Woodlands Scotland Survey and finds that the survey’s conclusions may be distorted. His findings have been published in an extensive report in the winter 2016 issue of Scottish Forestry.
The Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (NWSS) published in 2014 gave an up to date account of the status of native woodland areas throughout the country. At the time, the headline message was that herbivore impacts were the greatest threat to these woodlands, and red deer numbers in particular needed to be addressed. Since then, the ongoing deer management planning process has shown that the herbivore impacts in many deer management group areas are actually relatively low, and provisional analysis by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has also shown this to be the case at a national level as well as within much of the main deer range. There are of course exceptions to this.
This paper analyses herbivore impacts within the recognised red deer range in Scotland and compares them with the rest of the country. It also looks at the other issues which result in ‘unsatisfactory’ condition, namely invasive species, non-native tree species, and poor canopy cover, in order to place herbivore impacts in a wider overall context.
The full article can be seen here