Royal Deeside

Home to a fragile capercaillie population and a potential genetic lifeline for the capercaillie population in Strathspey.


Royal Deeside is home to an extremely vulnerable capercaillie population. Although low in number, the birds may potentially be a genetic lifeline to the larger capercaillie population in Strathspey. 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 independent researcher 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.


Deeside residents and people who work and visit the area were invited to discuss and refine the Action Plan to help capercaillie in Deeside which is available here.

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