South Deeside and North Angus
​Deer Management Group

The majority of the SDNA DMG area lies within the Cairngorms National Park and is subject to a number of key designations, includING Special Protection Areas (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Caenlochan is of particular importance, being designated as a SSSI, SPA and SAC. A combination of high altitude, relatively continental climate and differing rock and soil types has led to the development of a wide range of plant communities, several of which are the most extensive and representative of their type in Britain. The SSSI is of European importance as an SAC on the basis of having some of the best examples in the UK of fourteen European habitats, including montane willow scrub.  The SSSI is renowned as one of the most important upland sites in Britain for alpine plants, including lichens and bryophytes. It is thought to have almost three hundred higher plant species, of which almost one third are described as arctic-alpines.

Glen Tanar SSSI is also of great significance as it is the third largest remnant of Caledonian pine forest in Scotland. The site is of national and European importance for this habitat, and is also important for its open moorland habitats, namely dry and wet heaths and blanket bog, and for its woodland and moorland birds, insects and fungi. Glen Tanar is important for birds associated with woodland and moorland, including forest grouse and raptors. The capercaillie population is of national importance and the black grouse population is of local importance. Glen Tanar is probably the most important locality in Britain for the endemic Scottish crossbill. Glen Tanar is also important for hen harrier, osprey and for golden eagle.




The habitats in the Group area are predominantly a combination of heather moor and montane vegetation (See Map).  Some arable ground and improved grassland can be found in the north along the boundary with the River Dee and also in the south in Glen Clova and Glenesk.  A breakdown of the habitats can be seen in the table below.
The woodland habitat in the group extends to 11,105 hectares, which is approximately 15.78% of the total area.   As a resource it has significant commercial and amenity value and is also a key habitat for both red and roe deer.  On some estates there are separate populations of woodland and open hill deer and these are subject to separate management depending on the estates objectives and desired densities.  All the woodlands are subject to individual estate Long Term Forest Plans (LTFP) where deer management is considered in detail.