The management of wild deer in Scotland: Deer Working Group report

The final report of the Deer Working Group.

Section 20 Economics of Wild Deer

20.1 National Level

1 Scotland’s populations of wild red and roe deer are one of the country’s natural assets. These native species are natural components of Scotland’s biodiversity and popular species with the public. The need to control the numbers of both native and non-native deer species in the absence of any natural predators of adult deer also provides hunting opportunities and an annual harvest of venison. However, the previous sections have provided an overview of the types of damage that wild deer can cause when they are not adequately managed.

2 Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) recently reviewed the information available at a national level on the economic costs and benefits of wild deer and their management in Scotland, as part of its 2016 report to the Scottish Government on deer management in Scotland.[1]

3 SNH’s review of the costs and benefits relied heavily, as SNH acknowledged, on two reports. The first was a 2012 report commissioned by SNH from Professor Putman to identify the different types of benefits and costs associated with wild deer and their management in Scotland, and to review published studies for information on the economic values of those costs and benefits.[2] The second report was one commissioned by the Association of Deer Management Groups (ADMG) from Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC) on ‘The Contribution of Deer Management to the Scottish Economy’ and published in 2016.

4 SNH’s review included tables to summarise the information available, firstly, on the costs of damage by deer and the costs of managing them, and secondly, on the benefits of deer and their management. These tables are reproduced here as Figures 42 and 43. The Group considers the types of damage by deer listed in Figure 42 are relatively limited compared to the list of benefits. This potentially reflects that the brief for SNH’s 2012 report included that SNH was interested in “the widest definition of economic benefit” without apparently a corresponding instruction for types of damage.[3],

5 The information in Figure 42 on the costs of damage illustrates the most conspicuous problem with trying to consider costs and benefits at a national level - there are no national statistics for the economic value of damage by deer to trees and woodlands and agriculture, while damage to the natural heritage is difficult to represent in financial terms.

6 The Group considers that the cost of Lyme disease might also have been more appropriately listed as ‘uncertain’, because of the difficulty of attributing a value to the role of deer in the occurrence of the disease and the age of the source quoted by SNH. While the estimated cost attributed to deer vehicle collisions (DVCs) in 2007 is very likely to have increased since then with the increase in DVCs outlined in Section 15, the value given from 2007 is equivalent to nearly 80% of the total income from venison, sporting income and other income from deer management shown in Figure 43.

7 While SNH described the cost of the damage to agriculture by deer as “not significant” in the table, the Group considers that SNH underestimates this as discussed earlier. However, the Group considers (as did SNH’s 2012 report) that a particular omission that could be remedied is the lack of information on the likely scale of the costs of damage by deer to commercial plantations and woodlands more generally. There have been a range of previous studies examining aspects of the costs of damage by deer in commercial plantations and the 2012 report had hoped to include a summary headline figure for the estimated total cost for damage to forestry caused by deer in Scotland.[4] However, the report concluded that “the paucity of data and the age of the data currently available would make such an estimate meaningless”.[5] That remains the case.

8 The category of tree damage in Figure 42, while linked by SNH’s comment in the table to commercial forestry, should also cover the wide range of other situations where deer can cause economic damage to trees. These include, for example, non-commercial native woodlands, farm woodlands and other amenity woodlands, including trees and woodlands such as those in parks, golf courses, other recreational lands and gardens.

9 One perspective on the costs of deer to forestry is provided by the figures produced by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) for deer management on the National Forest Estate, encompassing approximately 32% of Scotland’s woodland area. In 2018/19, for example, FLS’s expenditure on deer management was £7.6m (excluding sporting rates) and its income from venison and stalking lets was £1.7m, giving a net annual expenditure of £5.9m that is justified on basis of the damage prevented to commercial crops and other woodland interests.[6]

10 SNH concluded from the information in Figures 42 and 43 that, while the public sector’s estimated annual income from deer management was FES’s £1.8m, the public sector’s estimated annual expenditure on deer management was £12.9m with FES’s expenditure, public sector grants and SNH’s £1.5m expenditure as the deer authority under the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996.

11 The Group considers that the amount of government funds spent directly on deer management each year should be clear and transparent. The Group proposes in Part Five that SNH should produce an annual report on the delivery of its functions under the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996. While that should include a breakdown of SNH’s annual expenditure on deer, the Group considers that it should also include a compilation of other government expenditure directly on deer.[7]

12 With regard to the private sector, SNH concluded based on the 2016 PACEC report, that the private sector’s estimated annual income from deer management was £15.8m and estimated annual expenditure on deer management more than twice that at £36.8m.[8]

Figure 42 Summary of costs associated with deer and deer management (2016 prices)
Description Public or private cost Estimated annual cost Source(s)
Costs associated with damage by deer
Tree damage Private/public Uncertain but significant  
Agriculture damage Private/public Uncertain not significant  
Damage to habitats Private/public Uncertain – difficult to monetise  
Deer vehicle collisions Mainly public £13.8 million Langbein (2007)
Lyme disease Mainly public £0.5 million Joss et al. (2003)
Costs associated with managing deer
Effects on public access Public Uncertain  
Operational and capital expenditure on deer management Mainly private £42.6 million PACEC (2016); FES evidence to Deer Authorisations Panel (2016)
Fencing Pulic £4.8 million Scottish Government (2013)
Other deer management via SRDP Public £0.8 million Scottish Government (undated)
Monitoring, regulation, and administration Public £1.5 million Putman (2012)

Source: SNH (2016)

13 The PACEC study, which covers the financial year 2013/14 and was carried out in 2014/15, was commissioned by the ADMG to be in time for SNH’s 2016 report to the Scottish Government. The ADMG has long recognised the lobbying value of producing national figures to show the scale of the economic contribution of deer management to the Scottish economy. PACEC’s 2016 report followed a similar report by them in 2006 that had the same title and was also commissioned by the ADMG.[9] Both reports were based on questionnaires, with the information from respondents “extrapolated to provide estimates for Scotland as a whole”.[10]

Figure 43 Summary of benefits associated with deer and deer management (2016 prices)
Description Public or private benefit Estimated annual benefit Source
Sale of deer carcasses and processed venison Private/public £7.5 million PACEC (2016)
Sporting income Mainly private £7.1 million PACEC (2016)
Stalking rents and other income from deer management Mainly private £3 million PACEC (2016)
Direct employment Mainly private 77 paid FTE jobs PACEC (2016)
Secondary employment Public Uncertain PACEC (2016)
Deer watching/tourism Public £0.1million Putman (2012)
Rural culture Public Uncertain  
Land owner benefits Private Uncertain  
Public health benefits Public Uncertain  
Existence value Public Uncertain  

Source: SNH (2016)

14 The previous PACEC 2006 report was considered in SNH’s 2012 report, which commented that it was very largely about Highland estates with little information on the rest of Scotland. The 2016 PACEC report aimed to reduce this imbalance by achieving a wider reach with its questionnaires. However, as the report acknowledges and statistics in the report reflect, the results are still largely about Highland estates.[11] The report notes that “Lowland deer activities are potentially more diverse and more dispersed... in contrast to the larger-scale activities of the larger Highland estates which are principally organised as fee-bearing sporting activities”.[12]

15 The substantially greater expenditure than income recorded by the PACEC report may partially be a product of the purpose of the survey, as expenditure by estates on deer management increases the contribution that it is considered to make to the Scottish economy. However, SNH commented in 2016 that “It is clear that deer management employment is not necessarily contingent on income, and that many estates run their activities at an economic loss”.[13]

16 With the responses to the PACEC survey mainly from Highland estates, SNH’s statement might be considered to reflect in part the importance, long-recognised in other surveys and reports, of non-economic factors in the reasons for owning and managing Highland deer stalking estates.[14]

17 Another factor that is also taken to reflect the non-economic factors influencing the ownership of Highland deer stalking estates, is the high level of capital value attributed to shootable stags in the sale of estates. Figure 44 shows that the values rose rapidly after the practice was introduced by property selling agents in the 1970s, but that the annual values since then have tended to remain in a broad band of between £10,000 and £40,000. Lesser values have also been attributed to hinds.

18 An attempt was made in the past to use such values to calculate a theoretical overall capital value for shootable open hill red deer.[15] While SNH refer to these capital values in considering the benefits of deer, the Group considers that SNH was correct not to include them in its list for the reasons given by SNH. Many factors affect the price paid for Highland estates, including the objectives of a new owner, and the traditional method of assessing the capital value of stags can end up attributing the amenity and other attributes of an estate to the stalking.[16]

19 SNH’s account of the current economic costs and benefits of deer management, while identifying the types of components involved, mainly illustrates the very limited economic information that can be estimated at a national scale. Improved information about the national costs of damage to particular land use interests by deer, might stimulate greater attention to reducing damage.

20 The Group considers, however, that the existing evidence is already sufficient to demonstrate the clear need to reduce the costs of damage by wild deer in Scotland. As SNH concluded in 2016 “Available information suggests that if deer densities were lower across much of Scotland the benefits arising from deer could be largely maintained, and many of the costs (such as deer vehicle collisions and impacts on forestry productivity) reduced leading to enhanced overall delivery of public benefits”.[17]

21 The Group considers that the need to reduce the levels of damage currently caused by deer to a wide range of public and private interests is a conspicuous priority, if Scotland is to make significant progress towards the aim of sustainable deer management, where that is defined as “the best combination of benefits for the economy, environment, people and communities for now and for future generations”.[18]

Figure 44 Capital values attributed to stags in Scotland (1976-2017)
Figure 44 Capital values attributed to stags in Scotland (1976-2017)

Source: Smiths Gore (1991); Bell Ingram Annual and Half Yearly Reviews (1991-2017)

22 The Working Group recommends that the Scottish Government should keep a clearer account of the expenditure by the public sector each year on the management of wild deer, and also ensure that it develops improved information on the estimated annual costs of damage by wild deer.

23 The Group supports the continued promotion of the economic and other benefits that can be derived from wild deer. Wild deer in Scotland are a resource that should be managed to produce net economic benefits for Scotland as a nation. The Group considers, however, that the current economics of wild deer in Scotland has unnecessarily large costs at a national level in both financial and non-financial terms.

24 The nature and extent of the damage caused by wild deer to public interests in particular situations can be influenced by a range of factors. However, the issues might be considered generally to result from the fact that some owners do not shoot enough deer on their land to prevent or adequately limit damage by deer. The next Part of the Report examines the nature of the compulsory powers in the deer legislation and the extent to which these have been used by SNH and its predecessors as the deer authority.

20.2 Other Levels

25 One or more species of wild deer occur more or less throughout mainland Scotland and on many islands, so that information at a national level on the costs and benefits of deer needs to be built up from information that adequately encompasses the regional and local differences within Scotland.

26 The different main types of environments where deer management takes place in Scotland might be broadly categorised as agricultural, woodland, open hill and peri-urban/urban. These land use types occur across Scotland in a full spectrum of combinations and all four types can be represented in a comparatively small area. However, the predominance of particular types of land use interests in different parts of Scotland creates a different context for deer management and the balance of public interests and costs in those areas.

27 The Central Belt with its concentrations of peri-urban/urban settlements and major infrastructure corridors is a very different environment for deer management compared to the North of Scotland with its relatively sparse population and extensive open hill ground. Other examples are South-West Scotland with its concentration of forestry and the North-East Lowlands and other parts of Eastern Scotland with their relatively extensive farmland.

28 The broad approach of the Scottish Government and SNH is to divide deer management in Scotland simply into upland deer management and lowland deer management. In this division, upland deer management tends to be equated with the management of open hill red deer, while deer management in the rest of the country is characterised as lowland deer management.[19]

29 The traditional dominance of open hill red deer as the focus of public sector involvement in deer management in Scotland continues to be reflected in the allocation of SNH’s budget for deer management.[20] As discussed further in this Report, the Group considers that there should be a significantly improved balance in SNH’s attention to deer issues across the whole of Scotland.

30 The Group also considers that, as part of that re-balancing, SNH should be developing a much clearer focus and account of the patterns of deer, damage caused by them and culling in the main different parts of Scotland, with these areas broadly defined from the point of view of deer management as indicated above.

31 The Group considers that this greater ‘regional’ emphasis should be incorporated into the ‘Wild Deer: A National Approach’ process, with the steps to be taken to improve deer management and reduce damage in different parts of the country.[21] The particular value of also developing a clear account of issues caused by deer and deer management at the scale of Local Authority areas is discussed in Part Six.

32 The impacts of deer and deer management happen on the ground at a local level and Putman’s 2012 report for SNH concluded that the costs of these “may be better understood at a site level”.[22] Damage by deer on a landholding may result from the movement of deer from other land and a core purpose of the deer legislation is to protect individual land owners and occupiers from unacceptable levels of damage as result of “any owner who has failed to take reasonable steps to control the number of deer on his land”.[23]

33 The general view that land owners have a responsibility to manage the deer on their land within the carrying capacity of their land has long been recognised and was, for example, clearly reflected in the results of the PACEC survey. As discussed earlier, the carrying capacity of land for wild deer is defined by avoiding unacceptable damage by the deer to the public interests covered by the deer legislation, including private interests considered to be in the public interest.[24]

34 The economics of deer management on a landholding should therefore be seen as based on managing the deer within the carrying capacity of the land. The expenditure required to achieve that and any income that might arise from it, will depend on the particular circumstances.

35 These circumstances include an owner’s management objectives for their land and how they go about controlling the number of deer that may occur on their land within the carrying capacity of the land. An owner may be able to improve any income they make from deer management by letting some of the culling on a commercial basis. However, the opportunity for that ‘sport shooting’ should be clearly seen as subject to the basic requirement of managing the deer within the land’s carrying capacity to avoid unacceptable damage to public interests.

36 The substantially greater expenditure on deer management than income in the PACEC survey based largely on Highland estates, suggests that those estates generally manage their deer at a significant financial loss each year. However, the patterns between estates will vary greatly with, for example, a broad distinction between deer stalking estates in the North and West Highlands and estates in the Eastern and Central Highlands.

37 Estates in the Eastern and Central Highlands that have open hill red deer, may also have significant other resources such as grouse shooting and more commercial forestry. The greater importance attached to grouse shooting by some estate owners in these parts of the Highlands has resulted in the reduction or exclusion of open hill deer in some cases to control tick populations and reduce the risk of tick-borne diseases in grouse.[25]

38 Traditionally, the culling on larger estates has tended to be carried out by the estate’s own employees, including any accompanied stalking with other people such as the owner or paying clients. However, some estates have started to involve outside deer hunters to help to improve the estate’s culling capacity. In some cases, professional deer controllers might be used to achieve significant reductions in open hill red deer numbers in a relatively short operation, rather than a long effort by estate stalkers or gamekeepers that can make the deer more unsettled and difficult to cull.

39 More generally in Scotland, there is a wide range of arrangements by which land owners carrying out deer culls on their land, use freelance deer hunters.[26] These may be recreational hunters or professional hunters who earn some or all of their income culling deer and a full spectrum of financial and non-financial arrangements might be involved depending on the circumstances.

40 The indications are that the number of competent deer hunters has continued to increase over recent decades and that across most of Scotland, there are options by which owners can arrange to have effective culls carried out in the most economic way in their particular circumstances.[27]

20.3 Deer Forests

41 The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 re-introduced business rates over sporting rights. This involved repealing the exemption introduced for “shootings and deer forests” under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994.[28] This sub-section describes the background to sporting rates on shooting deer and considers the continued references to ‘deer forests’ in the current legislation.

20.3.1 Background

42 The fashion for establishing ‘deer forests’ in the Highlands as extensive areas of largely treeless hill and mountain land given over to the management of red deer for sport shooting, started in the late 18th century. The number and area of deer forests continued to increase during the 19th century and peaked just before the First World War, with the number of deer forests increasing from nine in 1790 to 213 in 1912.[29]

43 Initially during that growth, the Courts considered that an owner’s right to shoot wild deer on their land, as an incidence or privilege of land ownership, was not sufficient to enable deer stalking to be formally leased under Scots law.[30] That changed as a result of a court decision in 1839 that allowed sport shootings to be leased and, as a consequence, sport shootings then became liable for Local Authority rates.[31] This was implemented through the Land Valuations (Scotland) Act 1854, which included “shootings and deer forests” in the legislation for the first time.[32]

44 Under the 1854 Act, rates were only charged where ‘shootings and deer forests’ were let. However, that was changed by the Sporting Lands Ratings (Scotland) Act 1886 so that rates were charged whether ‘shootings and deer forests’ were let or not. This position over ‘shootings and deer forests’ was continued under the Valuation and Rating Act 1956 and the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1975.

45 In 1990, as a result of campaigning by the Scottish Landowners Federation, the government announced its intention to harmonise the position of sporting rates in Scotland with that in England and Wales, where rates were only charged when the sporting rights were let.[33] In 1993, the Secretary of State for Scotland then announced that sporting rights would be exempt altogether from liability for rates and this was implemented through the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994.

46 With the change of government in 1997, the attitude of the Scottish Office towards sporting rates also changed. The Land Reform Policy Group established in 1998 under the chairmanship of a Scottish Office Minister, recommended in its final report the following year that the abolition of the exemption for sporting rights from rates should be investigated further as a potential reform.[34]

47 After the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, there was no change on sporting rates initially. However, the Scottish Government appointed Land Reform Review Group subsequently recommended in 2014, that the exemption should be reviewed with a view to removing it.[35] The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 then removed the exemption and re-established the local taxation of sporting rights after an interval of 22 years.

20.3.2 Current Position

48 The re-introduction of sporting rates came into effect from April 2017, with Valuation Board assessors entering ‘shootings and deer forests’ into Valuation Rolls. The approach to valuation is based on a tiered rate per hectare being applied to six main land types to reflect their sporting potential. These land types and rates, which are footnoted below, include a category of deer forest/hill/moor valued at £2 per hectare.[36]

49 Normal business rate reliefs apply, with 100% relief where a rateable value is less than the current threshold of £15,000. Other reliefs or allowances can also sometimes be available. The Scottish Government has, for example, issued non-statutory guidance to Local Authorities enabling Unoccupied Property Relief to be awarded at a 100% to shootings and deer forests where no commercial shooting or deer stalking takes place.[37]

50 There was also a specific provision relating to deer forests introduced by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016. Part 6 of the Act that re-introduced sporting rates had three sections. The first, s.74, removed the exemption for ‘shootings and deer forests’ in the 1994 Local Government Act, while s.75 amended the 1975 Local Government Act to include ‘shootings and deer forests’ on the valuation rolls. Section 76 then amended s.6 of the Valuation and Rating (Scotland) Act 1956 in three respects, two of which were minor technical updates. The third change, however, resulted from an amendment successfully promoted by the ADMG.[38] This introduced the following new sub-section into s.6 of the 1956 Act:

“(8ZA) In arriving at the net annual value under subsection (8) of lands and heritages consisting of deer forests, regard may be had to such factors relating to deer management as the assessor considers appropriate.”

51 Despite the continued references in the legislation to deer forests, including the special provision above relating to them, there is no clarity on what constitutes a ‘deer forest’. There is no definition or interpretation of what is meant by ‘deer forest’ in any of the Acts relating to sporting rates mentioned here from 1854, 1886, 1956, 1975, 1994 and 2016. There is also no other statutory interpretation of ‘deer forests’ in other legislation or from court cases. As a result, the Scottish Assessors Association concluded for the re-introduction of sporting rates that there is no distinct definition of deer forests.[39]

52 The continued use of the label might be considered simply a legacy of its use in the 19th century rating legislation. However, after the First World War in the 1920s, there was a marked decline in the number of recognised traditional ‘deer forests’ in the Highlands. Changing land use patterns and management approaches then meant that the last official statistics for deer forests were collected in 1957, when the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Scotland abandoned collecting the statistics because of the difficulty of defining what constituted a ‘deer forest’.[40]

53 The current rating legislation means that assessors have to decide what constitutes a deer forest for the purposes of entries on the valuation rolls. The current guidance on this noted that, in a court case in 2004, it was “generally accepted” that a deer forest was an area of “wild land frequented by deer and used for stalking”.[41] The Guidance then defines deer forests for the purposes of rating as “areas of predominantly managed open hill and moorland which deer now inhabit and used for the exercise of the rights to shoot deer”.[42] This is a very broad definition covering all species of deer and all such land anywhere in Scotland.

54 The Group considers that references to ‘deer forests’ should be removed from Scotland’s rating legislation, because both the meaning of the term is unclear and its use is unnecessary. In the legislation, shooting red deer and other deer species in woodlands and everywhere else other than ‘deer forests’ is covered in ‘shootings’. The Group considers that all deer shooting could be covered straightforwardly by ‘shootings’.

55 The Group considers that there is no need or case for identifying ‘deer forests’ separately as a type of land in the legislation and in the Assessors’ land types. ‘Deer forest’ could simply be deleted from the hill/moor category. All such lands are eligible for the same current allowances and discounts.[43]

56 The removal of references to ‘deer forest’ from the ratings legislation would also remove the inequitable position created by the insertion into the legislation of the special provision relating to ‘deer forest’ in sub-section 8ZA of the 1956 Act. This provision provides that, in considering lands and heritages consisting of ‘deer forests’, “regard may be had to such factors relating to deer management as the assessor considers appropriate.

57 This special provision only for ‘deer forests’ was, as mentioned above, a result of successful lobbying by the ADMG to create scope for further rates discounts for its members. The Group considers that the scope for any special allowance or arrangement related to deer management in any land type should not be determined by the assessors. It should be a matter for the Scottish Government through non-statutory guidance as with the example referred to in paragraph 53 above.

58 The Working Group recommends that amendments to the ratings legislation in the 1975 and 1994 Local Government (Scotland) Acts should remove references to ‘deer forests’ in the phrase ‘shootings and deer forests’, and that section 6(8za) of the Valuation and Rating (Scotland) Act 1956 should be repealed.


1 SNH (2016). Deer Management in Scotland: Report to the Scottish Government from Scottish Natural Heritage, October 2016.

2 Putman, R. (2012). Scoping the economic benefits and costs of wild deer and their management in Scotland. SNH Commissioned report No. 526.

3 Putman (2012) Op cit, p.20.

4 The benefits include, for example, a number of intangible values without equivalents in the costs list. For example, while the benefits list includes the ‘existence value’ of deer, the costs do not include deer welfare (such as winter mortality) or the impact of sika/red hybridisation; the benefits include the ‘pleasure from stalking’, while the costs do not include the negative experiences of farmers, foresters and others who have experienced serious deer damage or been involved in a deer vehicle collision.

5 Putman (2012) Op cit.

6 Putman (2012) Op cit, p.4.

7 Figures provided to DWG by FLS - see Section 14.

8 Including, for example, expenditure by Transport Scotland directly on measures to help mitigate DVCs.

9 SNH (2016) Op cit.

10 PACEC (2016). The Contribution of Deer Management to the Scottish Economy.

11 PACEC (2016) Op cit, p.10.

12 The 186 respondents to PACEC’s questionnaire managed 1.8m ha or just under 25% of Scotland’s land area, with the average size of landholding given as 6,800 ha. Statistics that reflect the open hill red deer focus of responses include that 86% of landholdings “count their deer” and the main primary purpose for shooting red deer amongst respondents was sport. 66% of respondents were members of Deer Management Groups that had formal Deer Management Plans and 66% were also involved in some commercial stalking.

13 PACEC (2016) Op cit, p.3.

14 SNH (2016) Op cit, p.54.

15 Jarvie, E. (1980) The Red Deer Industry: Finance and Employment. Scottish Landowners Federation. Callander, R. and Mackenzie, N. (1991). The Management of Wild Red Deer in Scotland. Rural Forum.

16 MacMillan, D.C. and Phillip, S. (2008). Consumptive and non-consumptive values of wild mammals in Britain. Mammal Review 38, pp. 189–204.

17 SNH (2016) Op cit; Callander and MacKenzie (1991) Op cit.

18 SNH (2016) Op cit , p. iv.

19 SNH (2011). Code of Practice on Deer Management.

20 The lowlands are described by SNH as “those parts of Scotland at lower altitudes, mainly South Scotland, Central Scotland and East and North East Scotland” (SNH 2016 Op cit, p.10).

21 See Section 26.

22 See Section 25.

23 Putman (2012) Op cit, p.i.

24 Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948, s.44.

25 See Section 3.

26 For example, in the Angus Glens.

27 Some examples are given in Badenoch, C (2016), The management of deer in lowland woodland. Scottish Forestry 70(2).

28 The Lowland Deer Panel noted that there may be a need in some lowland areas to make information more readily available to some land owners about local deer hunters in their area.

29 Land Reform (Scotland) Act, s.74.

30 Green, P. (2016). Practical indicators to assess the welfare of wild deer in Scotland. SNH Commissioned Report No. 944.

31 Discussed in Rennie, R. with Blair, M., Brymer, S., McCarthy, F. and Mullen, T. Leases (2015) at 36.09.

32 Callander and MacKenzie (1991) Op cit.

33 Land Valuations (Scotland) Act 1854, s.XLII.

34 Callander and Mackenzie (1991) Op cit.

35 Land Reform Policy Group (1999). Recommendations for Action. Scottish Office.

36 Land Reform Review Group (2014). The Land of Scotland and the Common Good. Report to Scottish Ministers.

37 Arable £4; Unimproved Grassland £4; Improved Grassland £3.50; Deer Forest/Hill/Moor £2; Woodlands/Forestry £5; Mixed Types £5.

38 Scottish Farmer News Release, 4 May 2018.

39 Cooke, R. (2018). Rates assessments raise more questions than answers. SCOPE, Issue 11, Winter/Spring 2018.

40 Scottish Assessors Association (2018). Valuation of Shooting Rights and Deer Forests: Guidance Note, 25 May 2018.

41 Callander and MacKenzie (1991) Op cit.

42 Scottish Assessors Association (2018) Op cit, p.3.

43 Scottish Assessors Association (2018) Op cit, p.3.

44 For example: (a) extreme ‘disabilities’ such as very difficult access, when a discount of up to 10% might apply (SAA 2018 Op cit); (b) where the land is extensive a discount might apply due to ‘quantum’, for example, a ‘deer forest’ over 8,000 ha or more might have a 50% reduction of £2/ha rate (C. Innes, ‘Six month sporting rates appeal window vital for rural businesses’, Galbraith website).



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