Help stop capercaillie colliding with fences

Please let us know about the fences you see in capercaillie areas to help reduce mortalities.

If you spot an unmarked fence, or a marked fence that needs repair, please let us know. Marking fences is a quick win for capercaillie.

The Cairngorms holds the largest area of unfenced woodland regeneration in Scotland. But we still need fences in some places to protect young trees from being browsed.

Research shows that unmarked deer fences are a cause of mortality for woodland grouse. By marking them to help the birds see and avoid the fences, collisions have been reduced by over 60%.

We’re working with estates to remove and mark fences in capercaillie areas, but there may be other fences that are putting the birds at risk. Help us update our map of fences, so we can all help to reduce capercaillie mortalities.

Remember, please stick to forest paths when helping to keep our fence map up to date, to avoid inadvertantly disturbing capercaillie.

Map of fences

Note: the map currently suggests there are more fences in Strathspey, but this may not be the case - at the moment we just have more data for Strathspey.

Tell us about a fence

If you spot, or know of an unmarked fence, or a marked fence that needs repair in a capercaillie area, please let us know.

Frequently asked questions

How will this help capercaillie?
  • The fence map will help us to ensure, as far as possible, that capercaillie do not collide into fences. Collisions can result in injury or death.
  • By keeping an up to date and comprehensive record of fences in capercaillie areas we can work in a much more proactive way with landowners to remove fences, where and when possible. Or make sure fences that have to remain in place are always well marked so capercaillie can see and avoid them.
  • The map and online form will enable us to work much more efficiently to help capercaillie. Currently there is no standardised way for anyone to capture and submit data about fences in capercaillie areas, or to keep track of and monitor those fences.
Will the map put capercaillie at risk?

The map does not include any sensitive data related to capercaillie. It includes the same type of data as is publicly available on the National Biodiversity Network website, i.e. capercaillie data at a 10km resolution, to help keep the birds safe.

I’m not 100% sure about the details of a particular fence. Shall I enter the record anyway?

Yes. All the data submitted will be checked and we’ll liaise with the respective landowner before accepting the information onto the map.

What shall I do if I find a fence that looks particularly dangerous to capercaillie?

Complete the form and we’ll follow it up with the landowner straight away. We’re monitoring the information coming in through the online form at all times.

Will data submitted via the online form be shared with organisations and initiatives outside the Cairngorms Capercaillie Project?

Yes. We will share data with the respective landowner to check its accuracy and act on it as required. Data may also be shared with prospective funders, where additional funds are required, for example to remove fences, which can be very costly.

I know about a fence in a capercaillie area outside the Cairngorms National Park, shall I submit information about it?

Yes please. Please use the online form to tell us about the fence.

Why are there more fences in Strathspey?

The map currently suggests there are more fences in Strathspey, but this may not be the case - at the moment we just have more data for Strathspey.

Can fences be marked without using plastic?

Fences can be marked with wooden droppers, bamboo canes or plastic netting.

The choice of material used for marking is based on the age of the fence and the impact of the material on the fence. Older fences and those in exposed areas are unable to bear the weight of wooden droppers. Bamboo canes have been used as an alternative, but are not always effective so, on particular sites, plastic netting is the only viable material to use.