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Lady Stalkers Make The Grade

6th July 2015

A ‘ladies only’ deer stalking day at Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve has resulted in four successful Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 passes.

The quartet had mixed experience of deer stalking before taking part but all achieved their DSC1 over the course of the two days (Thursday 25th and Friday 26th June)

Local training company The Stalking School organised the event, which was the first ladies only course they have run.

Megan Albon, one of the participants, is a gardener working on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park.  She wanted to learn hands on about how the hills are managed, and meet some of the people involved.  She said, “Every aspect of stalking was covered, from the fascinating physiology of deer – four stomachs and scent glands between their toes – to the practicalities of carrying a rifle over fences, across streams and through bogs.

“ I would love to do some deer stalking this summer, so the next step for me will be setting that up. I’m looking forward to getting out in to the hills and putting my new skills in to practice..”

Lyndsay Sharp, who also took the course, is a Rural Surveyor with Bidwells, she said, “I work with Estates and I get involved with attending Deer Management meetings, working with neighbouring land owners and SNH to ensure deer are managed with the interests of habitat impact, deer welfare in mind as well as sporting benefits to the client.

“I saw the course as an opportunity to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the role of a deer stalker. “

Will Boyd-Wallis, Head of Land Management and Conservation at the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) said “We are pleased to be supporting this important course.  There are many women managing deer in Scotland and hopefully this course will encourage more to get involved in our National Parks.”

Each participant had 50% of their course fee funded by the CNPA and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority (LLTNPA). Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) provided the use of the shooting range and classroom at Creag Meagaidh NNR.