We are well into the winter up here in the Highlands. Snow (or more like cold, wet sleet) has been falling on and off all weekend and it’s been somewhat of a shock to the system…. The wind hasn’t actually cut us in two yet but at this rate we may need to go straight for a double thermal whammy. Single layers just don’t figure up here…
With the autumn foliage nearly off the trees and the ground vegetation dying back, we’re seeing lots more deer across Lynbreck. We mainly get Roe Deer but there is a big population of Red Deer in neighbouring Abernethy.
Roe deer are a beautiful and elegant native Scottish animal. But there are lots of them. Lots. In fact lots and lots and lots. Apart from us humans, Roe Deer have no other predators (although we’ve heard of a Sea Eagle carrying off a new born before but that doesn’t much happen). And the thing is, Roe Deer just LOVE newly planted trees. Do you see where we’re going with this?
So our new trees will be surrounded by a deer fence to keep them safe. But it still means that we have to keep a close eye on things. Deer have been known to jump these fences in some situations and can you blame them? Imagine a whole 10hectares of your favourite food, taunting you….
But we also need to start reducing the population across the whole croft. Our existing woodlands are a safe haven for deer and they’re also a feeding ground. Any tasty natural regenerating trees and flowers will be munched – if the rabbits don’t get to them first that is.
So all this means a call to action. Any deer shot on site will be skinned and butchered and put into our freezer for winter casseroles and stews. Nothing will be wasted where we can help it. The phrase ‘it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it’ springs to mind – but it’s meant in a very literal sense.
Deer, oh dear, oh dear.