Lowland Deer Panel

This expert panel will advise on the complex issues around managing deer in the lowlands.

Managing deer in the Scottish lowlands

In 2018 NatureScot established a panel of deer experts to explore new approaches to deer management in the Scottish lowlands.

Many of us enjoy seeing wild deer close to our towns and cities. However, in some areas too many deer can result in damage to crops and woodland and an increase in road accidents.

The Lowland Deer Panel examined the complex issues related to deer management in the Scottish lowlands. Its work will contribute to the Scottish Government’s ongoing review of deer management across Scotland.

The panel’s aim was to maximise the benefits of deer for people and ensure that their numbers do not have an impact on conservation, agriculture or road safety. Key issues included:

  • the nature of deer impacts in the lowlands
  • the best way to manage deer – including how to work collaboratively
  • the information needed to support good deer management

The panel

The panel was chaired by Peter Watson, former Director of the Deer Initiative. It comprised:

  • Professor Steve Albon, James Hutton Institute
  • Eirwen Hopwood, West Lothian Council
  • Jochen Langbein, Independent Wildlife Consultant
  • David Quarrell, Lowland Deer Manager
  • Karen Ramoo, Scottish Land & Estates
  • Jane Rosegrant, Borders Forest Trust

The panel sought views from those with an interest in lowland deer, based on a list of key questions and an online survey. The survey closed in May 2018, and the panel held follow-up discussions with various stakeholders to help develop its report.

The panel reported to NatureScot early in 2019 with seven recommendations.

Next steps

NatureScot will need to consider the panel's report alongside several other areas of ongoing deer-related work which will be published over the coming months, and we will therefore respond fully to the report later this year.


Donald Fraser, NatureScot.
Email: [email protected]

Find out more

Managing deer

Deer Licensing

Deer management in Scotland - Frequently Asked Questions

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