I enclose a copy of a letter of mine that was printed in our local paper, it should highlight the fact that the SNH are certainly a body to fear... Also remember I am speaking for an area of Speyside where it seems the only thing some organisations want to see is tree's.
– Another October passes and once again there was silence in certain areas of the strath. I'm sure that some of your regular readers will remember years gone by when the glens in Abernethy used to resound to the bellow of the majestic stag roaring his challenge.
Sadly this has been consigned to folklore now. The stag has been culled to such an extent in this area that there are very few left to gather during their rutting period.
Scottish Nautral Heritage's George Hogg has gone on record in a reply to a previous letter of mine to state that the red deer is an icon of Scotland.
However, when will SNH and the RSPB stand up and admit that their policy on managing the local red deer population has gone too far and put a stop to their current policies.
This magnificent species is part of our natural heritage and proper management of their numbers is being ignored by the responsible agencies.
Under the guise of conservation/regeneration, both organisations have been allowed to decimate red deer herds to an appallingly low level.
It is a disgrace that this has been allowed to happen and perhaps some of our politicians who may be reading this correspondence will finally sit up and take notice.
In the unlikely event that you are fortunate enough to hear a stag, it is quite likely to be a young stag which struggles to roar properly. In years gone by, the privately owned estates managed the herd population using time honoured methods which would allow the best of the animals to breed, and only take the older, younger and injured beasts out of the herds.
This is not the case now with these organisations and it appears that any animal which comes into rifle range is shot regardless of the continuing health of the herd.
I am very familiar with the land owned by the RSPB at Nethy Bridge, once known as Forrest Lodge estate and I have very serious concerns over their policies for maintaining, or should it be eradicating, the herd numbers at this location.
In my opinion the herd population here has been exterminated to a level where SNH should be halting any further culls if they were to take their responsibilities for preserving our natural heritage seriously.
What the RSPB seem to forget or realise is that the deer grazing on their ground today will probably be on another's ground tomorrow and that their culling policy will, and is, having a direct negative impact on neighbouring estates.
SNH is a government body which we the tax payers fund. They should stand up to their responsibilities and take a higher level of interest in the current management of our wild deer populations.
If they remain as ineffective or seemingly influenced by certain organisations as they currently seem to be, this particular responsibility should be taken out of their control and given to another agency with a more balanced interest in the matter. Small culls have been needed but not the mass slaughter that has happened. – Yours etc,