Deer Management Groups are voluntary and are run by representatives of the landholdings in the Group’s area. The collaborative activities of a Group include the carrying out of a coordinated count of all the deer in the area annually providing a basis for assessing the cull required to meet the combined objectives of members and to ensure that the deer are managed sustainably and within the carrying capacity of their range, taking account of the presence of other domestic stock and wild herbivores.
This ensures that there is a population of deer sustainable in terms of the environment and compatible with other land uses such as farming, forestry, tourism and public recreation, and which makes a contribution to the local economy. The annual cull is agreed among members of each DMG.
All Groups have working Deer Management Plans. These provide a framework for the integrated and sustainable management of deer along with other land uses.
Deer Management Groups are now assessed three-yearly against delivery of a range of actions by SNH to ensure that effective, sustainable deer management is being delivered to an agreed set of ‘Benchmark’ principles which are intended to meet both private and business objectives and deliver in the public interest, highlighting where improvements can be made.