‘Rewilders’ and farmers lock horns over plan to cull 25,000 deer from Cairngorms National Park

Steevo

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‘Rewilders’ and farmers lock horns over plan to cull 25,000 deer from Cairngorms National Park​

Shepherds and hill farmers say the proposals are 'inhumane' and warn the push for natural regeneration of parkland could backfire

ByDaniel Sanderson, SCOTTISH CORRESPONDENT19 April 2022 • 5:30pm

More than 25,000 deer face being culled under controversial plans to “rewild” parts of the UK’s largest national park.
Rural workers have claimed that the proposals, which bosses at Cairngorms National Park say are needed to allow for the restoration of woodland and peatland, will threaten rural jobs and are inhumane.
Shepherds and hill farmers have also raised fears that the push to allow swathes of the park to naturally regenerate, in a bid to tackle climate change, could backfire and is not backed by solid evidence.
A key part of the plan, which is being finalised by the public body which runs the park, is to reduce the number of deer roaming in areas uncovered by woodland to between five to eight animals per square kilometre, around half of current levels.
A report published in 2021 found that there were up to 79,000 deer in total in the national park, which covers a huge area of the Scottish Highlands.

Targets for woodland​

There are believed to be up to 56,800 deer living in uncovered areas, a figure that would have to be roughly halved by the end of the decade if the park is to meet its targets for woodland and peatland.
The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said that the huge planned culls went beyond nationally agreed targets which had already resulted in thousands of deer in the park being shot.
Alex Hogg, the organisation’s chairman, said deer managers often expressed alarm over a policy of constantly slaughtering “an iconic species, much loved by the people of Scotland”.
He added: “Further culls of up to 50 per cent more again, with a preference against the use of fencing, will unquestionably place more stalking jobs at risk on estates.
“It also has the potential to be self-defeating if the park wants to retain qualified deer managers, as it states. Not everyone agrees with a management style which is becoming normalised across some areas of the park, seemingly with encouragement.”
Deer in Cairngorms National Park

A deer herder in Cairngorms National Park CREDIT: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
The proposals for the expansion of deer culling and rewilding are included within a five-year plan published by the national park, which is being finalised and will be sent to SNP ministers for approval later this year.
The woodland expansion and deer management plans divided opinion in a consultation.
Some claimed that large-scale culls of deer were necessary as their numbers have expanded dramatically over recent decades and their natural predators have been wiped out. They often eat or trample saplings, thwarting efforts to grow new trees.

Hold an online protest​

However, land managers were set to hold an online protest om Wednesday claiming the move to create 35,000 hectares of new woodland by 2045 threatened their way of life.
“We are protesting because the draft plan will make game businesses economically unviable, leading to job losses in the park,” said Leslie George, a gamekeeper who works in Donside. “People in authority are pushing agendas, not the residents.”
He added: “The plan favours rewilding but no assessment has been done on how rewilding will support red-listed or declining species such as curlew, mountain hares and capercaillie in the park.”
Some estimates suggest there could be one million wild deer in Scotland, compared with roughly 500,000 in 1990. The numbers culled has also risen to about 135,000 per year.
Mike Daniels, policy director for the John Muir Trust, a conservation charity that promotes rewilding, said there was an “urgent need” to reduce deer numbers “radically” in the Cairngorms.
“Across Scotland deer populations are excessively high due to the extermination of their natural predators centuries ago, and a focus on a Victorian model of deer stalking that encourages unnaturally high populations,” he said.
“These unsustainably high numbers have led to environmental degradation of our hills and glens for decades. Our fragments of ancient native woodland can’t regenerate and our fragile peatlands are trampled and eroded. Reduced deer numbers will lead to healthier habitats and healthier deer.”

 

Humble Village Farmer

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NFFN Member
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Cb97ej
Spotted this interesting article in the Telegraph this morning.

Interesting to see the "environmentalists" seeking to carry out a wildlife cull to proceed with their own pet "rewilding" project, whilst farmers and gamekeepers are defending retention of the existing wild environment.
But rewilding is all about reducing the numbers of grazing animals to allow regeneration of scrub. So it's no different to what they are saying elsewhere I suggest.
 

Steevo

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
But rewilding is all about reducing the numbers of grazing animals to allow regeneration of scrub. So it's no different to what they are saying elsewhere I suggest.

The eco-warriors continually protest about the badger cull......despite the fact that TB is causing thousands and thousands of cattle and badgers to die each year from the disease.

On the other hand those in the article above are pushing for a deer cull in order to be able to plant some trees......just because they want to.
 

Top Tip.

Member
Location
highland
The Cairngorms National Park are worse than useless. There aim is to get rid of all land managers as they just see us as obstructing them in their ambition to plant trees and rewild the whole area. There’s about 70 of them in there that have every environmental degree under the sun but have never done a days work in their lives. They spent 5 million on a capercaillie project and there was less caper at the end than at the start. There latest caper project has 1 gamekeeper on the ground and 7 in the office telling him what to do. A government quango at its very worst.
 
My view is that there are a lot of things done in the hills that are not good for wildlife, however, what would be good for wildlife would be no people, no dogs, no camping, no roads, no farming and apex predators but as we live in a country with people who not only need to eat the food produced in the hills but also enjoy having the countryside as a place to appreciate, enjoy, visit and live conservationists need to wind their neck in and realise there are no wild places in the UK, everywhere is managed (and has been for millennia). They must learn the art of compromise. Unfortunately they don't seem able to do this, and look at everything in black & white. I think in mid wales we had the summit to sea idea that trampled over all those who owned and lived in the area.
 

bluebell

Member
they spent £5 million on a capercaillie project, whos money? i can guess? was it theirs to waste? easy to waste other peoples money? just come down south here in essex , The RSPB have so much money that they can buy up farms, farms that were very good productive farms that grew high yields of cereals, were drained at at great cost and effort? Then flood them turn it into a bird place?
 
they spent £5 million on a capercaillie project, whos money? i can guess? was it theirs to waste? easy to waste other peoples money? just come down south here in essex , The RSPB have so much money that they can buy up farms, farms that were very good productive farms that grew high yields of cereals, were drained at at great cost and effort? Then flood them turn it into a bird place?
I remember reading an article in The Telegraph years ago, talking about other peoples money and saying the problem with public services (and charities too) is they spend other's money and therefore don't look after it, the way we look after our own money. A very strong and valid argument for lower taxes and smaller government I believe. Not saying there shouldn't be a safety net, but I think we should all keep more of our own money, as we are more careful of how we spend it. I think a lot of the charities have got far too big for their boots and certainly need their wings clipping (as does the Archbishop of Canterbury or is it the Archbishop of The Labour Party).
 

Humble Village Farmer

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Cb97ej
I remember reading an article in The Telegraph years ago, talking about other peoples money and saying the problem with public services (and charities too) is they spend other's money and therefore don't look after it, the way we look after our own money. A very strong and valid argument for lower taxes and smaller government I believe. Not saying there shouldn't be a safety net, but I think we should all keep more of our own money, as we are more careful of how we spend it. I think a lot of the charities have got far too big for their boots and certainly need their wings clipping (as does the Archbishop of Canterbury or is it the Archbishop of The Labour Party).
Rspb have their own resources and a million members I believe.
 

Swarfmonkey

Member
Location
Hampshire
I think in mid wales we had the summit to sea idea that trampled over all those who owned and lived in the area.

I've heard some interesting tales about how Rewilding Britain were sent scurrying off with their tails between their legs when they attempted to force their Summit To Sea project on mid Wales. The locals (from what i've been told) weren't going to sit there and see a bunch of arrogant outsiders impose their "vision" on the area, and fought back rather effectively.
 

Top Tip.

Member
Location
highland
Not just subsidies. They coin it in with grants from both national and local government, to the tune of nearly £23 million quid last year alone. Then there's the truly massive tax breaks on their investment income for being a charity.
The pitiful part of it is that everywhere they take over just goes downhill fast there record on conservation is appalling.
 

Humble Village Farmer

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NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
It's just another one of those so-called conservation charities that's more interested in playing politics, getting it's hands on taxpayer's money, and financially feather bedding it's senior leadership team than it is in conservation.
They have got shares in blue circle and their evil plan is to concrete over the whole country, just to stop us farming it.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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