The headkeeper of Mar Lodge estate, on Deeside, in Scotland, has quit his post over the estate owner?s policy of red deer culling. Stewart Cumming said he believes that the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is wrong to shoot deer on the estate in order to protect a Scots pine regeneration project.

The website of Mar Lodge says that shooting, stalking and fishing are all available; a balance being struck between sport and conservation, but Mr Cumming claimed that heavier culling, coupled with harsh winters, has caused red deer numbers in the area to fall to dangerously low levels.

He told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper: It was wrong to keep on shooting deer when they were seeking shelter in such a hard winter. I do not agree with that. Fencing would have done the job of protecting the trees.