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Deer Working Group

Role of the group

The Deer Working Group is an independent working group appointed by Scottish Ministers in October 2017, to recommend changes to ensure effective deer management in Scotland that safeguards public interests and promotes the sustainable management of wild deer. The Group is due to report in April 2019.


  • Simon Pepper OBE (Chair) was the Director of WWF Scotland for 20 years to 2005, specialising in sustainable development, and with a longstanding interest in deer management. He has since held public appointments with the Scottish Government, Forestry Commission, Deer Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage.

  • Andrew Barbour is a farmer and forester working on his family owned and run property in Highland Perthshire. He has worked on deer management in both woodland and open hill settings and is a former Deer Commissioner for Scotland. He was the chair of the Government appointed Woodland Expansion Advisory Group and recently chaired the SNH panel reporting on the use of authorisations in deer management.

  • Dr Jayne Glass is a Researcher at the Centre for Mountain Studies (Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands) and Honorary Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. The focus of her work is sustainable rural land use and effective participatory decision-making for environmental management.

  • Robin Callander (Special Adviser) is an experienced land manager and rural policy adviser. He has been involved in deer management at local and national levels for over 30 years, and is a former Deer Commissioner for Scotland. He has worked as an independent Special Adviser for Committees in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments, as well as other public interest committees

External Adviser

  • Richard Cooke qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1976 and has been General Manager for Dalhousie Estates in Angus since 1989. He is the current Chair of the Association of Deer Management Groups with which he has been involved since it was set up in 1992. He also Chairs the Lowland Deer Network Scotland formed in 2011. He has been a Board Member of the Deer Commission for Scotland and of the Cairngorms Partnership.