The Cull – Scotland’s Deer Dilemma

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Film Info

Film Year: 2020

Film Duration: 60 min

Country: United Kingdom

Language: English


Ted Simpson

Film Category

The future of the Scottish Highlands is under threat. With red deer dominating the ecosystem, should these landscapes become wild once more? If so, what happens to the people that call these places home? There are estimated to be over 350,000 red deer in Scotland. Deer populations, when uncontrolled, have a massive impact on the landscapes of the Highlands. As a result, deer are culled each year in an attempt to manage and maintain the ecosystem that they are a central part of. Over the last sixty years however, a debate has raged regarding the size, nature, and purpose of the deer cull. The impact of this debate will change how people see, interact with and even inhabit the Scottish highlands. ‘The Cull’ explores the different approaches to deer management taken by land owners and managers in Scotland, and delves into the reasoning behind the vitriol. This film is about much more than Scotland’s largest land mammal — deer management is a vehicle for us to discuss the topic of how we interact with our natural environment, and how ’wild land’ is managed and used in Scotland today. Talking to people from all over Scotland and on all sides of the debate, this documentary presents the issues as seen by real people on the ground, from crofters, gamekeepers, land managers, land owners, environmentalists & rewilders — all fighting to use and protect the land in the way they see fit. The future of our planet is the biggest story of our generation, with many people battling day to day to better the planet for future generations​.​ This film explores the fight for the Scottish Highlands.