|No trees too many Red deer|
During most of the year these red deer are cautious and keep away but tonight they are hungry, perhaps even starving. They have come down from the hill jumping barbed wire fences, browsing and trampling my newly planted trees.The night visitors
Until two or three years ago there was only a small population of deer at the west end of the peninsula but without effective culling there's been a population boom as in the rest of Scotland.
|A deer trail down from the hill|
follow the black lines and you'll find the deer
There is an alternative to fencing............. In Glen Feshie fifteen years ago the Red Deer Commission, the government body that oversaw deer management in Scotland at the time, began a huge cull after widespread destruction of native plants, trees and the arctic-alpine nesting habitat of the Dotterel ,one of Scotland's rarest breeding birds. A team of stalkers using helicopters and high powered rifles reduced deer numbers from 1,500 to 400 in a year. The results were dramatic.Glen Feshie - Zero tolerance for deer
|Deer hair on a barbed wire fence|
Where new woods are being planted fewer than 10 deer per square kilometre means that we can probably do without fences, damage is minimised.
Halving our deer population would mean; reducing the cost of planting, by up to half, more natural regeneration, more CO2 sequestered and a more authentic experience for hunters. The great cull doesn't mean just hunting; wolves could be re-introduced in the highlands. More on that next time......
|The rags are soaked in diesel, it's supposed to deter the deer|