Deer are an essential part of Scotland's wild landscapes. They help maintain variety in habitats such as woodland, and as our largest mammal they add drama to our human experiences in the outdoors. However, the elimination of their natural predators, and the focus on encouraging high deer numbers for stag shooting, has altered their important role in our ecosystems. Across Scotland, high numbers of deer are preventing trees from growing and woodlands from regenerating.
We need to think differently to reverse the dramatic decline in biodiversity that has stricken our countryside. This means managing deer numbers so that a far wider range of plants and animals are able to flourish. Deer management should be based on the state of nature - taking the natural capacity of our soils to support vegetation, and the vegetation needed to support deer and other wildlife, as the starting point.
Unless we get serious about lowering deer numbers, our woodlands and wildlife will continue to suffer. We hope this film will help to explain some of the issues. Find out more at jmt.org