Upland deer managers say they are in the front line in meeting climate change challenge and biodiversity targets

The Association of Deer Management Groups (ADMG) says, in the light of the current Scottish Government review of deer management, that its members are meeting future climate change and public interest targets. It has stated in its just published Forward Look that the upland deer sector is “Not part of the problem but part of the solution.”

ADMG says that the latest review of the upland deer sector undertaken by SNH in 2019 recognises significant progress and that, by maintaining that progressive momentum, its members have a vital role to play in the delivery of Scottish Government objectives on climate change, the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, and real tangible benefits in terms of rural employment and the rural economy, a source of healthy food, and a vital part of Scotland’s burgeoning wildlife tourism industry.

Richard Cooke, Chairman of ADMG, says:

“We have produced our Forward Look because we believe that the 48 DMGs are not just doing a good job under the current system but are leading by example, are demonstrating that collaborative management works, and that they can help to drive change in a fast-changing world.

“Our wild red deer are too often portrayed as the problem, or part of it. We do not see it that way. The population has come down and densities now average less than 10/sq km.  Targets for maintaining and creating new native woodland are being met and peatland restoration is being delivered, with much more to come.  The DMGs are leading on many initiatives locally to deliver real benefits on the ground.

“There has been a tendency for too long to see the deer sector as pedestrian, regressive, and obstructive, when all evidence shows that is not the case.  We get the climate emergency and the part we need to play.  We are delivering on our public responsibilities and will continue to do so.”

The ADMG Forward Look is available as a pdf now.