South Deeside and North Angus
​Deer Management Group


In November 2013, the Scottish Parliament RACCE Committee recommended to the Minister that the effectiveness of Deer Management Groups (DMG) under the Voluntary Principle would need to be demonstrated through the implementation of Deer Management Plans (DMP) by 2016. 
The Association of Deer Management Groups (ADMG) established a benchmark in response to the RACCE Committee recommendations which forms the basis of this plan.  The benchmark set out criteria whereby a Deer Management Group or Sub-Group could assess and demonstrate its effectiveness in relation to the Code of Practice on Deer Management. Its aim was to meet a range of management objectives and deliver public interest outcomes through a robust and sustainable DMP.
In addition to the ADMG benchmark, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) produced a paper entitled ‘Delivering Public Benefit’.  Combined, these cover the operational and public interest aspects of deer management planning and are fully incorporated in the planning process.  SNH have used these to develop an assessment tool to demonstrate the performance of DMGs prior to the deadline of 2016.
Purpose of DMP.
The purpose of this plan is to provide an agreed practical and effective framework which allows management of deer in a sustainable manner whilst integrating with the different land uses and management objectives across the group.  It will also include the following:
  • Provide a basis for collecting and analysing necessary information which is then used to formulate management decisions
  • Identification of private and public deer management objectives and the methods of achieving these objectives, including an agreed set of actions
  • Monitoring and recording achievements and reassessing identified actions
  •  Enable better collaboration and further understanding of management challenges and encourage good communication between all involved in deer management to ensure transparency

SDNA DMG DMP 2016-2020:


A Deer Management Unit is an area based either on property boundaries or the overall area managed for deer. Within the SDNA DMG, the property boundaries dictate the different DMU’s, with the exception of the following:

Balmoral Estate leases Abergeldie Estate which is subject to the same management objectives

Glen Tanar Estate leases Inchmarnoch which is subject to the same management objectives

Glen Tanar Estate manages the SNH property which is subject to the same management objectives

The table below and Map opposite illustrate this further:

More detail on these DMUs can be found in the DMP available for download above. Contacts for DMUs can be found on the 'Policy & Contact' page of this web site.
The Group endorses the vision of Scotland’s Wild Deer – A National Approach (2014) to ‘Manage wild deer to achieve the best combination of benefits for the economy, environment, people and communities for now and for future generations'.  It also subscribes to the Code of Practice on Deer Management and the ADMG Principles of Collaboration. 
In line with these, the Group undertakes the following:
  • Deer populations managed to meet the Group’s individual management objectives whilst supporting wider land use objectives
  • Protection of forestry and agricultural crops whilst allowing a sporting element
  • All members aspire to industry best practice in terms of Wild Deer Best Practice (WDBP)
  • Animal Welfare and Public Safety are given a high priority
  • Relevant training and development provided for all those involved in deer management
  • Develop positive relationships with visitors, providing education on deer and their management where appropriate
  • Support local communities through employment and secondary and tertiary services.

For the period of this plan, the key deer management objectives for the Group are as follows:
  • Manage deer as an economically valuable asset on those member estates that have sporting aspirations to provide commercial stalking
  • Prevent unacceptable impacts by red and roe deer on forestry interests, including new planting, natural regeneration and timber crops
  • To support national biodiversity priorities by preventing unacceptable impacts from deer to all nationally and internationally designated sites
  • Prevent unacceptable impacts by deer on agricultural land
  • Produce venison to a high standard and advocate accreditation to Scottish Quality Wild Venison (SQWV)
  • Take a zero tolerance approach to any incursions of sika deer
  • Mitigate opportunities for Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVC’s) where necessary and appropriate.