Planning Considerations: Impacts
- Check whether approvals may be required where fencing is on or likely to have a direct/indirect impact on a designated site of UK or European importance. Contact local Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) office1 for further information.
- Where fencing is planned in relation to forestry then the manager should approach the Forestry Commission (Scotland)1 at an early stage to ensure that the proposals meet Grant Aid requirements and Forestry regulations and establish whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required.
- Check with SNH1 whether a license is required if fencing construction is likely to disturb protected species such as badgers.
- Only in exceptional circumstances erect deer fencing within 1km of a woodland grouse lek site.
- Ensure that fencing location and type (for example orange barrier netting) minimises the threat of collisions within core woodland grouse areas. Such a proposal will need to draw on local information and specialist advice from SNH1, the Forestry Commission’s Guidance Note 11- Deer and Fencing1, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)1 and the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust (GCT)1.
- Deer displaced by fencing onto designated sites or other fragile sites should be culled where they are likely to cause damage.
- Fences that incorporate ‘downfalls’ or movement corridors may concentrate large number of deer in small areas. Ensure that the extent of such corridors does not result in localised erosion or damage to the habitat.
- Prepare a Deer Management Plan**, based on habitat and deer population targets, for any designated site. Collaborate with neighbours as required.
Access and recreation
- Provide a means of crossing the fence, appropriate to the type and number of users and ensure it is maintained.
- Clearly mark the location of access points and where appropriate provide information to explain why deer fences are necessary, and to indicate when they might be removed ***.
Further information is available from Scottish Natural Heritage’s Scottish Outdoor Access Code and the SNH Countryside Access Design Guide1.
Landscape and cultural heritage
- Use fencing materials and select fence lines which take account of landscape impacts.
- Contact SNH area staff to discuss mitigation options 1.
- Locate fences so as to have minimal impact on the landscape and cultural heritage. Relate fence-lines close to landforms and existing landscape features; avoid linear features and archaeological sites.
- Consult Historic Scotland1 in advance where fencing might affect the site or setting of a Scheduled Ancient Monument. HS and SNH should be consulted on potential impacts within Inventory Landscapes.
The Forestry Commission’s Forest Landscape Design Guidelines1 (FC 1994) offers further guidance to reduce the visual effects of different adjacent grazing regimes in the landscape.
Maintenance & Removal
- Maintain fences and remove once no longer required. Include the cost of this when calculating the cost-effectiveness of this method.
Impacts on other land managers
Changes in habitat and deer management on one landholding can have significant effects on neighbours, Deer Management Groups and local communities.
- In planning fencing, recognise the interests, legitimate rights and objectives of other landowners and affected communities.
- Give relevant interests the opportunity to make their views known and be able to show how you have taken these into account.
- Follow the principle that those who promote a more costly solution to benefit their interests should pay the cost.
- Collaborate with neighbours if they are affected and inform your Deer Management Group.
Type of Fence
The type of fence required is determined by the size of enclosure, ground conditions, time for which it will be required and cost.
Permanent, or Large Scale
Fencing has high initial costs and requires regular checking and maintenance.
Construct deer fences using the following minimum specifications :
Minimum specifications for deer fences
|Species||Mesh size (mm)||Height (m)|
|Roe||200 x 150||1.2|
|Fallow||220 x 200||1.5|
|Red/Sika||220 x 300||1.8|
• Support netting along wires of high tensile spring steel and link together by spiral lashing rods - standard pig rings commonly used in stock fencing are unsuitable for deer.
• Where appropriate install some means whereby any deer which do gain access to the enclosure may escape via deer-leaps, or simple one-way gates.
Temporary and re-useable non-electric
- Construct as above, but reduce costs either by selecting less durable materials, for example untreated rather than treated timber for posts, or by using high tensile black plastic or rigid polypropylene netting instead of wire mesh.
Temporary and semi-permanent electric
Various electric fencing systems may be suitable, although they may not be 100% effective against all species. Deer species differ in their susceptibility to electric shocks, with red deer the most, and roe deer the least susceptible. This type of fencing may have high initial costs with constant running costs of electricity. Small wind turbine or solar panels can be used to generate electricity supply.
Two styles of electric fencing:
• Single fence to suitable height to prevent deer passing. Construct using a 900mm high single electric stand-off wire, placed on the side of approach, 1.2m from a standard stock fence.
• Two parallel fences running 1 meter apart, which prevent deer from jumping.