A stronghold and genetic lifeline for the capercaillie population in Strathspey.


Deeside is home to a highly vulnerable capercaillie population. Although low in number, the birds are a genetic lifeline to the larger Strathspey population. Work with communities in Deeside is therefore an essential part of building a future for capercaillie in the UK.

It's important to understand how communities in Deeside feel about capercaillie. The first step is therefore to identify the values, attitudes and beliefs held about the Deeside area and capercaillie conservation. Areas of common ground can then be identified to inform community-led action.

The project's work in Deeside is supported by Balmoral Estate. A key project partner, Balmoral Estate has the capacity to support community-led action at a considerable scale.


From July to October, research will be conducted by an objective third party, The Evaluator. On behalf of the project they will provide a neutral space for people who live, work and play in the Deeside area to share anonymously how they feel about the Deeside area and capercaillie conservation.

The project has no plans in place related to Deeside. Instead, it’s working with a ‘blank sheet of paper’ and simply wants to listen to people’s views to inform next steps.

The results of the research will be available in November and published on this page.

Events and activities

From July, a wide range of people who live, work and play in the Deeside area will be invited to share their views in person through 121 listening sessions lasting around 60 - 90 minutes. The views shared through the sessions will be analysed to identify areas of common ground. Those areas will then be explored in more detail through an online survey, which all residents and visitors to Deeside will be invited to complete from October.

To read more about the research please click on the link below, and please get in touch here if you'd like to know more or have thoughts you'd like to share.

Summary of the research


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