Collaborative deer management

Across Scotland, deer management benefits from landowners and managers working together.

Collaborative deer management can take a variety of forms, from formal Deer Management Groups comprising many large estates to two neighbours with small landholdings working together to manage deer that enter their land.

Deer Management Groups

Voluntary Deer Management Groups (DMGs) cover most of Scotland’s upland red deer range and adjacent land. Managing herds of red deer where they range across vast tracts of upland terrain benefits from a collaborative approach.

Each group comprises representatives from landholdings within the group’s area. The diversity of owners and their management objectives within groups is increasingly varied. Proactive engagement from landowners within the group’s area is important to ensure the deer are managed in a way which best meets the different aims of the various landholdings.

The Association of Deer Management Groups (ADMG) is the organisation which represents its member DMGs and is a key stakeholder in the deer management sector. NatureScot

works closely with ADMG to support DMGs in their deer management planning and decision making.

Deer Management Group assessment

Deer management delivers a range of benefits to the people of Scotland. In 2014, 2016 and 2019 Deer Management Groups (DMGs) were assessed against 14 specific areas of ‘public interest’. Deer Management Plans: Delivering the Public Interest sets out the public interest objectives for deer management and analyses DMG performance against them.

Having assisted DMGs with their deer management planning, we are now focussing attention on Deer Management Plan implementation, the standard of deer management and the impacts of deer.

Lowland Deer Network Scotland

Lowland Deer Network Scotland is a national stakeholder forum for lowland deer managers to interact, engage with and contribute to ongoing thinking and policy development for deer management across lowland Scotland.

LDNS aims to promote the welfare and sound management of wild deer, in balance with their habitat, through a collaborative and co-ordinated approach across the Scottish lowlands.

NatureScot provides background support and funding to enable LDNS activity.

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