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Fostering the partnership approach required to manage Scotland’s burgeoning deer population is to be a key role for Forestry and Land Scotland’s new Wildlife Management Support Officer. 

Anton Watson, an FLS Wildlife Ranger Manager who has stepped up in to the new job, has a strong track record in deer management.  

Having started his career in 2012 with SNH (now NatureScot) and being closely involved in collaborative working with the deer sector of Scotland, Anton joined FLS in 2016 and was responsible for the safe and successful delivery of the deer cull across central Scotland.  

Ian Fergusson, FLS Head of Wildlife Management, said; 

“Anton is very well versed in deer licencing and legislation, and in facilitating sustainable deer management across the Central Belt and wider areas in Scotland. 

“Much of his success is down to his ability to develop good working relationships with colleagues and wider stakeholders and to always look for positive solutions to any problems that arose.   

“With the increasing need for effective deer management across Scotland, Anton will be a great asset for the team and we’re looking forward to benefiting from his skill and expertise.”

Planting and nurturing healthy forests is a key element in Scotland’s climate emergency mitigation effort and protecting those forests from browsing damage is vital to their long-term viability.

With Scotland’s deer population still increasing and the impact of COVID-19 making itself felt on the deer management - and venison - sectors, Anton is ready to take on the challenges ahead.

Anton said;

“I’m really excited to be taking up this post at what is a really important time for the deer management sector in Scotland.  

“There will be many challenges ahead and I’m looking forward to collaborating with our stakeholders across the sector to promote a sustainable approach to deer management and help to reinvigorate a robust and sustainable deer industry in Scotland.”


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