Deer management emergency situation protocol
As part of our management of Scotland's national forests and land, we are responsible for protecting the forest environment. This includes safeguarding planting sites, forest habitats and vulnerable standing crops from bark-stripping or browsing damage by deer. Deer management is generally done by either fencing in areas to exclude deer or by culling deer to maintain a sustainable population that the forest can support.
During severe winter conditions large numbers of red deer are often seek shelter and food on our forests. This can cause increased browsing damage to forest restock sites. In addition, the deer can often end up in poor condition. When this happens, we are required to make decisions around culling such deer.
We worked alongside the Association of Deer Management Groups to develop a protocol to provide a consistent approach and better communication when dealing with emergency situations. It also resulted in the publication of the Emergency Situation Protocol.