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.

  • Paul Geddes

    I read yet again of the ongoing saga regards the mismanagement of red deer in the Mar Lodge area, and appreciate there are arguments for boths sides. I support the regeneration of scots pine, however the manner in which the NTS and SNH Deer Management Plan aims to achieve it’s objectives are quite simply immoral, and give little thought to the wider implications for small rural communities.

    I’m no expert, however the DMP for Mar Lodge inlcudes a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to deer within the regeneration area. If an area is unfenced, is it not foreseeable that neighbouring estates deer will wander into the lush areas of Mar Lodge and subsequently be shot? This can only lead to smaller estates having little to offer sporting tenants. The knock on effect including less game keepers, fewer families in the glens and before you know it, rural schools and communities will suffer.

    I wonder whether NTS members really know what their subscriptions are paying for at Mar Lodge.

  • willie fraser

    The deer are getting a much harder time on the other side of the hill in Glenfeshie. They are being shot in daytime and with a spotlight at night. The quangos will not behappy until the last one is shot.This cannot be right. The general public have a right to know. If BACS CAN IMPOSE A SHOOTING BAN ON WILDFOWL, WHY DON T THEY PROTECT THE DEER?, as case of double standards.