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Environmental groups welcome Deer Working Group report as a potential catalyst to bring deer management into the 2020s - Scottish Environment LINK

Scottish Environment LINK - a coalition of organisations involved in land and deer management, forestry, wildlife conservation, cultural heritage community, land partnerships, nature education and outdoor recreation – has welcomed the findings in the report published today by the independent Deer Working Group (DWG).

The independent expert body that was appointed by Scottish Ministers in 2017 has set out nearly a hundred recommendations in its 374-page report which if implemented in full, would go a long way to improving the ecological state of Scotland’s uplands by changing the culture of deer management in Scotland.

Mike Daniels Head of Land Management at the John Muir Trust said: “First we want to praise the authors of this report including the late Simon Pepper who chaired the Deer Working Group until his tragic death in 2018 – for their thoroughness and professionalism. We welcome the courage and clarity of the report which confirms that Scotland’s existing deer management procedures and practices need major reform. If we were designing a new system of deer management today in the context of climate change, biodiversity loss and the depopulation of fragile rural areas it would bear little resemblance to the ‘traditional sporting estate’ model found in large parts of the Highlands.”

Duncan Orr-Ewing, Chair of LINK Deer Task Force said “We welcome the publication today of this independent review of deer management in Scotland. We note and support proposals to update deer legislation to ensure modern and transparent systems of deer management, and proposed improvements to SNH powers to enable changes in practice on the ground.”

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