FORESTRY and Land Scotland has released a five-year deer management tender. 

At any one time on Scotland’s national forests and land, there are up to 150 million young trees vulnerable to damage from deer – and FLS estimate the cost of the damage done is in the region of £3 million annually.

Valued at around £25–31 million for the five-year period (£18–24 million net value after venison sales), the tender will establish a range of contracts that will help deliver a professional cull of more than 150,000 deer – a slight increase on previous cull levels.

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Ian Fergusson, FLS head of wildlife management, said: “As responsible land managers we need to act to achieve the necessary balance within the deer population – and that is something that can only realistically be attained through evidence–based culls sustained by year–round effort.

“For many years we have delivered our annual culls thanks to the hundreds of highly trained contractors, who work in partnership to the same high professional standards as our own staff.

“We have also engaged with them to present this tender in a way that works best for them and for us – so we’re looking forward to there being a substantial response.”