Code of Practice on Deer Management

Scotland’s Deer Code applies to anyone who manages wild deer, or who owns or manages land where wild deer roam.

Read the Code of Practice on Deer Management

The Deer Code sets out how land managers can deliver sustainable deer management. It specifies land managers’ responsibilities and helps them to identify what they must do, should do and could do to manage deer sustainably.

It also stresses the importance of managing deer collaboratively, of talking to neighbours and of planning together.

The Deer Code extends to a wide audience, which includes:

  • lowland tenant farmers
  • recreational stalkers
  • crofters
  • upland deer managers

The Deer Code covers all of Scotland’s species of wild deer and habitats on which deer are found. It supports a voluntary approach to deer management but also outlines how and when NatureScot may get involved.

Development of the Deer Code

The Deer Code came into effect on 1 January 2012. It was prepared by NatureScot with input from stakeholders and approved by the Scottish Parliament following a public consultation.

The Deer Code is based on Scotland’s Wild Deer: A National Approach and is underpinned by the Wild Deer Best Practice Guides.

This comprehensive and extensive body of work included the Responsibility of Care project. Search our publications for related reports.

The Deer code was subject to public consultation.

Find out more

NatureScot 2016 Review of Deer Competence


Deer Code
Great Glen House
Leachkin Road

Email: [email protected]

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