Seeing herds of Red Deer in the hills and glens is one of those things that goes hand in hand with spending time in the wilder parts of Britain.
Red Deer, and deer in general, have a bit of a marmite-like reputation in the outdoors. They are liberally culled to control population levels due to the damage they cause over grazing their habitat. This damage is largely a man-made problem in itself. By wiping out the natural predators of deer in the UK; Wolves, Lynx, even Brown Bear, the deer population has grown and grown unchecked, resulting in a bunch of natural lawnmowers and strimmers roaming the landscape.
What to do?
Should we continue to cull these animals? The effect on Glen Feshie, for example, as a result of intensive deer management has made an incredible difference to the ecological makeup of the glen itself.
Should we leave it to nature as it is and live without the stunning vegetation that would otherwise be there?
Maybe though, just maybe, we could bring back those natural predators, and learn to live with them once again.
Something to think about... maybe?