Screening of our new film, Clear on Deer.
This 30-minute-long film explores the complex issue of deer management in Scotland and what it means for the wild places of the future and the people who live and work in them. As a local land manager at Quinag, Kylesku and Sandwood Bay, we want to show this new film to the local community and offer the chance for an open discussion.
More about the film
It’s a critical time for our planet; it’s a critical time for deer in Scotland, too. How our land is managed today is going to have a massive impact on the Scottish landscape and the people who live and work in it. Livelihoods and ways of living have to change to create a world where nature, people and communities can thrive together.
There is increasing awareness of the ecological, biodiversity, land ownership and climate issues inherent in the deer management debate. The Scottish Government will soon consider legislation to support a fairer and sustainable system to control deer numbers based in the recommendations from the independent Deer Working Group.
Clear on Deer is a 30-minute documentary film fronted by nature presenter Libby Penman, who travels across Scotland to meet a range of people to hear different voices and perspectives, and discover the views, logic and rationale behind the changes to deer management in Scotland.
This film is a direct attempt to shine a light on this nuanced and important debate. Red deer are Scotland’s most iconic mammal and have a critical role to play in the equilibrium of our finely balanced eco-system, but there is a huge problem with their high densities and overgrazing.
Scotland is unique in northern Europe – we do not have a natural tree line. Elsewhere, trees grow high on the hillsides, gradually dwindling in size as the altitude increases. The forests that once covered our uplands are all but extinct, with high deer densities negating any regeneration.
There is also a welfare problem: If we are to protect healthy populations of deer, we need to provide food and shelter for them. Today, many perish due to exposure and starvation, as numbers increase and limit their resources. In short, we need thriving native woodland.
Through the eyes and lens of Libby Penman’s enquiring mind, this film captures her genuine journey of discovery as she speaks to individuals across the debate to come to her own conclusions on the issues.
There is a bright future for deer and human communities in Scotland, and Clear on Deer explores all the issues to provide the information which will enable everyone to join in the discussion, and help shape that future.