03 April, 2017
SNH responds to ECCLR deer management report
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) today welcomed a new report on deer management. This report by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee to Scotland’s Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, follows the committee’s consideration of SNH’s review of deer management. The committee also heard views from a range of stakeholders.
SNH’s comprehensive, evidence-based review, published in November 2016 included information from deer management plans and input from individual land managers, as well as SNH’s site condition monitoring programme. The committee’s report helps build support for action across the deer sector to develop a more sustainable approach to managing this important asset for the whole of Scotland.
Sue Walker, SNH’s acting chair, said:
“We have been working closely with the sector for many years to address a range of deer management issues in Scotland.
“SNH led the development of a vision and strategy for sustainable deer management in Wild Deer a National Approach, a Code of Practice and Best Practice Guidance. These were produced in partnership with the sector.
“While there is legislation to regulate deer management, and some of it has been used, our approach has been to try and establish consensus and co-operation. Land managers and their staff have extensive expert knowledge of their land and how the deer use it. Gaining their support to secure public benefits is an effective and efficient way to ensure these benefits.
“Our review showed that many land managers in the uplands are managing deer populations in collaboration with each other and taking account of public interest. Equally, it showed that some are not yet doing so and we concluded that progress was too slow to allow the Scottish Government to meet some of its targets. Furthermore, the SNH report clearly identifies a need to address the different issues of deer in the lowlands.
"We are encouraged that the ECCLR Committee has accepted the key findings of our report and note their view that, while good progress has been made, more needs to be done where the voluntary approach is failing to deliver the necessary progress.
“We will carefully reflect on the report, taking it into account as we continue to advise the Cabinet Secretary on deer management in Scotland.”
The Scottish Government asked SNH to undertake the deer management review after the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment (RACCE) Committee took evidence in 2013 on the effectiveness of Scotland’s current system for managing Scotland’s wild deer. The sustainable management of deer is a key step to deliver the goals of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy – in particular, restoring Scotland’s ecosystems to good ecological health.
See the ECCLR report at (insert web link). See the full SNH deer review at http://www.snh.gov.uk/publications-data-and-research/publications/search-the-catalogue/publication-detail/?id=2449
- Dominic Shann
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Notes to editors
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