Sustainable Deer Management and the Public Interest
The management of red deer at a landscape population level as set out in the Code of Practice on Deer Management (The Deer Code) requires a collaborative approach. Deer are regarded as a natural resource and as such all those who manage them have a ‘responsibility’ to:
- manage deer as a resource sustainably;
- minimise negative deer impacts on public interest;
- safeguard deer welfare.
The land management objectives of members of the DMG currently contribute to delivering a wide range of public benefits as set out in The Deer Code. This Collaborative Land Management Plan will demonstrate how the DMG is currently contributing to sustainable deer management and will identify further opportunities for the DMG to deliver the Public Interest.
The purpose of the Collaborative Land Management Plan
The overall purpose of the Plan is to provide:
- An agreed framework for the management of wild deer and habitat improvement in the area covered by the Group;
- An agreed set of actions to deliver the public interest associated with sustainable deer management and the land management objectives across the Group area;
- An agreed pattern of arrangements to ensure that the actions are implemented and their effectiveness monitored.
Collaborative Land Management Plan Structure
The Collaborative Land Management Plan consists of three main parts and was agreed in 2016 :
- Part 1: Collaborative Land Management Plan Information — This sets out background information and details the Public Interest relating to Deer Management in the local area. Information on individual management units is also contained here.
- Part 2: Group Operation — This part contains information relating to the Operation and Functioning of the DMG.
- Part 3: The Working Plan — The Working Plan sets out the most up to date information on deer culls, counts and population targets as well as specific actions the Deer Management Group will undertake throughout the life of the plan. The Working Plan will be reviewed at least annually, with a systematic review of the whole plan taking place at the end of the five year period. As a result the Working Plan will be a continually evolving document.
The plan will identify specific actions for the Group and targets to be delivered by 2021. These will be reviewed on an annual basis in the Working Plan. The DMG will use information gathered from habitat monitoring, population census and cull reporting to agree and set culls on an annual basis. Each management unit is committed to implementing the necessary culls to achieve this although it is accepted that there may be specific geographical areas within the Group area where deer management requires to be focussed.
The Group are committed to working collaboratively to achieve deliver the objectives of the plan and will meet regularly to discuss deer management and issues that arise in the local and wider area. This Plan will therefore take account of all land management interests as well as those of other Statutory Organisations and the wider public interest.