Code of Practice on Deer Management

Scotland’s Code of Practice on Deer Management (the 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 stresses the importance of managing deer collaboratively, of engaging with neighbours and of planning together. As a result, it is relevant for a wide audience, which includes:

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

All of Scotland’s wild deer species and the habitats on which they are found are covered by the Deer Code. 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 will be reviewed and updated following the implementation of the recommendations from 2020 Deer Working Group report.

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