Deer management is under review and the Scottish Government is assessing evidence regarding how the voluntary system is meeting demands of public interest and natural heritage, plus the wider context – legislation, the Deer Management Code, Wild Deer a Natural Approach, and social and economic benefits.
Deer Management Groups are changing and modernising in response. Many deer management plans have been finalised and are available online. Conversely, SNH is coping with budget cuts and restructuring, and parts of its deer management activity programme have been withdrawn.
The Association of Deer Management Groups has taken the initiative, seeking support to keep certain projects live. These include development of Best Practice and SWARD, a data processing system for DMGs. Also, ADMG is drafting a DMG accreditation system and wants to progress ‘Heading for the Scottish Hills’ online.
Boosting the funding drive, renowned sporting artist Ian MacGillivray has donated his painting Across the Burn. This depicts a highland pony taking a stag off the hill on the Garrogie Estate. Richard Cooke, ADMG Chairman, said: “This evocative painting of a traditional stalking scene, generously donated by Ian, is offered for sale, the proceeds going towards our Project Fund.”
“Since the deer management review began in 2014, great progress has been made by all DMGs, rising to the challenge set by the former Environment Minister to demonstrate public benefits and creating comprehensive new deer management plans, consulted on these, and putting them on line at www.deer-management.co.uk.
“The deer sector contributes £140m to the Scottish rural economy and supports over 2500 jobs (PACEC 2016). Now we are looking for additional funding to make further progress in areas that will deliver far wider benefits.”
Sealed offers for Across the burn should be submitted by 20 October 2016 to: Chairman, ADMG, Estates Office, Brechin DD9 6SG or e: firstname.lastname@example.org