A Message from the Estate to the Walking Community

Background 

The Estate has been receiving a large number of requests for access during our stalking programme from Heading to the Scottish Hills and Walk Scotland. This is very welcome and we have endeavoured to respond personally to everyone but the numbers preclude this going forward. An automatic response will be forwarded to every request.

We have received much understanding and acknowledgement of our predicament which is essentially constant deer disturbance by walkers. This is driving the deer off the estate. Neither do we get the opportunity for undisturbed deer management and being able to deliver for our guests. We also have an obligation to Nature Scot (formerly SNH).

Many of those who enquired have responded to us very positively and fully understand and have taken steps to walk elsewhere over a short period to allow us to conduct our programmes in an unfettered manner. My family and I thank them totally as they understand a balance is needed.

The Estate Hill is our workspace - this space is our business premises and is core to our survival. It is not a playground! Its also home to birds and animals, all part of our conservation efforts for sustainability. 

So against this background and with the support of the authorities we are asking that people walk elsewhere in September and October, including Sundays, whilst we conduct our programmes. Any disturbance, along with many other potential walkers who just turn up, expect to be able to take access, are highly likely to push deer off the ground by disturbing them, and deer do not necessarily return as this happens all too frequently. Our deer stocks are being “de-hefted” by constant disturbance. Our guest and management programme is constantly disturbed. 

So thank you again to all those who have worked with our advice, have enquired, gone elsewhere over this short period, and are to be welcomed back when the pressure is off and we can accommodate them for a nice day in the hills.

It would be wonderful if more walkers would be as conscientious and flexible to the sensitivity of the situation as a great number have been last year and in growing numbers this year. 


Main Deer Management Programme

Our deer management programme is being run from September – October. Please walk elsewhere over this short period allowing us to conduct our activity and business undisturbed. Thank you.


Summary and Conclusion

Scotland offers fantastic hillwalking, but summer and autumn are also important times for deer and calf welfare and herd  management, which is essential for sustainable deer management.

Heading for the Scottish Hills and Walk Highlands Service helps you find out where deer management activity is taking place during the stag stalking season (1st July to 20th October, but with most stalking from August onwards), so you can plan routes which minimise the chance of conflicting with and disturbing stalking, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code  - Section 5 - Deer Stalking on the Open Hill.

Access Constraints for Wildlife Management

Heading for the Scottish Hills

Access News Article and Nature Scotland advice