HC Deb 14 July 1927 vol 208 cc2301-2

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many acres are at the present time under deer forests in Scotland; what proportion of that area is suitable for afforestation and small holdings, respectively; and whether the Government intends to carry out any of the recommendations and, if so, which recommendations of the Departmental Committee on Deer Forests,1922, and of the Scottish Conference on Agricultural Policy, 1925?


The total area of deer forests, according to the Returns as obtained by the Board of Agriculture in 1926 under the provisions of the Agricultural Returns Act, 1925, is 3,113,465 acres. I am not in a position to give the proportions asked for in the second part of the question because no recent survey has been made. With regard to the last part of the question, the recommendation with respect to heather burning has been dealt with by the Heather Burning (Scotland) Act, 1926. Effect has been given to another recommendation by a provision in the Agricultural Returns Act, 1925, empowering the Board of Agriculture for Scotland to obtain for the first time Returns of stock carried on deer forests. Other recommendations are receiving consideration but the result of the examination of the Returns of stock will, of course, have an important bearing on any conclusion that may be reached.


Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman propose to carry out a survey of the deer forest area corresponding to the survey he is now carrying out in the other parts of the Lowlands of Scotland?


The first thing is to get a Return of the stock carried in these areas, and that is in process of being collected.