Ben Lui Nature Reserve
An away day for the team this week was a trip up to the former National Nature Reserve Ben Lui where SNH still own land. As part of our land owner responsibilities we helped out with the annual deer count for the Inverary and Tyndrum Deer Management Group. Kevin (former member of the Stirling NNR team and now Forth area deer man) and I had the job of counting the north slopes of Beinn Dubhchraig, Ben Oss, the east side of Ben Lui and anything we could see between Ben Lui and Tyndrum including BeinnChuirn, Meall Odhar and the beautiful Choille Choire Chuilc. Not a small area.
But then it was hardly a chore. We started in glorious weather and the large amount of snow added to the stunning scenery and helped with the count by pushing the deer to lower ground.
As it often does at Ben Lui the weather worsened as the day went on with cloud rolling in and the temperature dropping. And you might think that red deer which are large reddish brown animals would be easy to see but it is amazing how they manage to blend into the landscape. However we still managed to find nearly 200 deer, more than previous years. Once the whole area is counted and the numbers are in then we will have an idea if deer numbers are continuing to rise and the cull targets will be set accordingly.
All in all a good day at the office.