For several months this spring our staff have been working incredibly hard to undertake a complete survey of all Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) re-stocking sites (almost 400!). It certainly gets us around the country. The survey is based on FC’s Nearest Neighbour method of assessing deer damage. The work is hard to undertake, as it is all based on newly felled sites that have been then been mounded ready for new trees, but the results are always fascinating. This week we were finishing off reports for each part of Scotland so managers could chart their progress compared to previous years. As always, we see a lot of spatial variation in deer impact levels on young forest crops across the country. Even with the forest deer cull now standing at well over 30,000 animals a year on the National Forest Estate (NFE) there is still plenty of sign deer are impacting on the tree crop through browsing.