Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Deadwood fencing used to protect broadleaved trees from deer browsing in the Cairngorms, Scotland

Published source details

Bradfer-Lawrence T. & Rao S. (2012) Deadwood fencing used to protect broadleaved trees from deer browsing in the Cairngorms, Scotland. Conservation Evidence, 9, 72-78

Summary

At a site on Mar Lodge Estate, Scotland, a number of broadleaved trees were planted during the early 1990s. After fifteen years these trees were still barely higher than the tree tubes protecting them due to heavy browsing by deer. In 2004 a series of small exclosures were constructed around some of the trees using timber felled from a nearby conifer plantation. Fences were constructed with logs, which proved to be longer-lasting and sturdier than the woody debris used for protection elsewhere. The trees inside the exclosures are significantly higher than those which remain unfenced, and the ground vegetation has responded well. Deadwood fences have a number of benefits over traditional deer fencing: posing no threat to woodland grouse, having a lower visual impact in the landscape, and providing additional habitats for wildlife.