A year ago we were able to extend our estate by buying a parcel of land from Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). The land was planted with blocks of trees about 15 years ago and so the trees are now reaching a good height (15-20 feet tall). It is nice land and despite the regular presence of FCS stalking contractors there are a few deer on the ground.
I am convinced that some deer are essential in developing forestry blocks as they make paths, brake up some of the planting density and can make the woods or forests more natural than they would otherwise be. Regimented blocks or spruce need some activity of this sort if they are not to look a complete intrusion on the Highland landscape.
However, we do need to keep numbers under control so today we shot a small number of hinds on the edge of the forestry blocks. As always with deer who live in the trees they were in good condition and will go from our larder to the game dealer. Demand for venison seems strong at the moment which is excellent news.