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Children enjoy a deer lesson!

16th September 2008

PRIMARY children in the Strath are to visit a local estate this Friday (September 19th) as part of a project to learn about deer management and why venison is good for you.

The project will see 50 youngsters from Deshar Primary, Boat of Garten, and Abernethy Primary spend a day at Kinveachy Estate. They will meet with estate stalkers and staff from the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), Deer Commission for Scotland (DCS) and The Highland Council.

It promises to be an interesting and exciting day with all aspects of deer management covered. There will be five workshops:

  • Deer Are Fab
  • Deer management
  • Deer as Food
  • Deer and wider biodiversity
  • Skills and tools for working with deer

It is the first in a two-part course. Next month chef Fiona Bird of Stirrin Stuff will visit the two schools and give a venison cookery and tasting session.

The project is to increase understanding amongst the children about deer and their management as well as the importance of using local produce. It is linked to the Supporting Sustainable Deer Management Priority for Action in the National Park Plan, a document which sets out the Park’s short and longer term future.

Colin McClean, the CNPA’s Deer and Uplands Officer, said: “Deer management, and indeed venison, is an important part of the land use, history and culture of the Park. This project will not only allow the children a better understanding of the issues affecting deer management, but hopefully get them interested as well. We might even meet some of our future deer stalkers!”

Alistair MacGugan, DCS Director of Stakeholder Relations, is enthusiastic about the project. “The cookery and tasting session will give the children an opportunity to sample and enjoy the wonders of wild venison and having them out on the estate highlights where this food comes from. It further provides an excellent opportunity for local children to appreciate the skills that are required to manage deer effectively and to understand more about the fantastic contribution that deer make to the natural environment and to our quality of life.”

The event is being run by the CNPA, DCS, Highland Council, Seafield Estates and Deshar and Abernethy Primary Schools.