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Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) Head of Wildlife Management, Ian Ferguson, has been awarded the Balfour Browne Trophy for 2022 in recognition of the exceptional contribution he has made to deer management in Scotland in his 44 year career.

As an authority on deer and their sustainable management, and as an expert on the safe use of firearms, Ian’s expertise is recognised across Scottish Government agencies and external partners.

The award - given annually to an individual for their exceptional input to deer conservation – is named after a founding member of the British Deer Society (BDS) Vincent Balfour-Browne, and nominations alternate between BDS and FLS.

Speaking at a presentation ceremony, Graeme Prest, FLS Director Land Management & Regions, said;

“Our core business is the planting and sustainable management of the forests that underpin Scotland’s contribution to mitigating the Climate Emergency.

“Achieving this involves managing the potential risks to the viability and success of those forests. One of those challenges is the management of deer to sustainable levels.

“FLS leadership in this area is held in high regard across the sector and across partner agencies. That is all down to some diligent, focussed and determined work and is in no small part down to the drive, determination, guidance, commitment and professionalism that Ian has brought to the organisation in his remarkable career.

“Hugely respected across the sector for his professionalism, depth of knowledge and wealth of experience, Ian is a recognised authority on deer, whose insight and experience has helped shape and develop policy and legislation.

“It is therefore very apt that Ian’s outstanding contribution is formally recognised through this award of the Balfour-Browne trophy.”

Together with his colleague, Bruce Sewell, a previous Balfour Browne recipient, Ian’s work has had a major influence on the emerging Scottish Government response to the independent review of deer management in Scotland.

Ian has also championed the development of an at-a-glance ‘dash-board’, which through harnessing data, technology and the skills of GIS, provides instant access to a wide range of information that underpins all FLS’ deer management work.

This approach is already being emulated by other organisations and is being touted as a good model for an industry standard approach.

Ian said;

“Deer management is a very necessary aspect of our work in FLS to sustain and nurture Scotland’s national forests and habitats as we respond to the Climate Emergency and halt biodiversity loss.

“It is very nice to know that my contribution to this important area of work has been appreciated and recognised with this award.”

During his career, Ian has served on: committees of the Lowland Deer Network and the Association of Deer Management Groups (ADMG); the Deer Management Qualification Board; the Wild Deer National Approach (WDNA) Steering Group; Deer Management Round Table; Scottish Quality Wild Venison; and Scottish Venison Association.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.

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  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 07785 527590 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.