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


Deeside is home to an extremely 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.

The project's work in Deeside began with a ‘blank sheet of paper’ and simply listening to people’s views about capercaillie conservation in the area in order to inform next steps.

Listening sessions conducted by an objective third party were held with 30 key people connected to the area, including landowners and landmanagers, businesses related to tourism and recreation, and representatives from interest groups including field sports and mountain biking.

The views shared in the listening sessions are summarised here and those shared by the majority were used to create an online survey for Deeside residents and visitors, so the views held in the wider community could also be explored. 768 Deeside residents and visitors took part in the survey, ensuring a 95% confidence level in the results. The results are available here and have enabled the project to draft an action plan to help capercaillie in Deeside that is based on how the majority of Deeside residents and visitors feel and is within the scope of the project.


The draft action plan to help capercaillie in Deeside is available here and on Tuesday 31 May, it will be reviewed and refined with members of the community at a workshop in Ballater. See below for more details.

Events and activities

On Tuesday 31 May, from 6pm - 8.30pm at the Victoria and Albert Halls in Ballater, Deeside residents, and people who work and play in the area, are invited to discuss and refine the draft action plan to help capercaillie in Deeside. Once finalised, the action plan will be delivered over the next 12 months.

Presentations at the workshop will include an overview of capercaillie in Deeside; the Cairngorms Capercaillie Project; and the views shared by Deeside residents and visitors about capercaillie conservation in the area.

Breakout sessions will explore what skills and expertise are needed locally to successfully deliver the action plan in Deeside; how to involve more people; keep communities informed; keep the action plan on track; and ensure transparency throughout.

To join the workshop, simply register here: Deeside Action for Capercaillie

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