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Animal Concern Advice Line News

Inchconnachan Island

Andrew Bayne Esq.,
ABC Planning & Design Limited,

Dear Mr. Bayne,

I write concerning Planning Application 2021/0452/DET with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority regarding upgrading and improvements on Inchconnachan Island, Loch Lomond.

I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to your clients.

Some years ago we were contacted by members of the public who were upset and angry over SNH backed proposals by the then owners of Inchconnachan Island to cull the resident wallaby population. Several of those who asked us to intervene had boats on Loch Lomond and were regular visitors to Inchconnachan.

Through one of those people I learned that one or more wallabies had been killed and burned in a fire near a picnic area. There was nothing to suggest this had been done as part of any cull and it was most likely carried out by someone who had gone onto the island to poach deer or perhaps by someone who got their kicks by setting dogs on wildlife.

I note from your Planning Application that you intend controlling deer and wallaby numbers on the island to reduce grazing pressure on regeneration of native woodland.

Please consider non-lethal methods of controlling wallaby and deer numbers and protecting young trees. It is also important to recognise that in Scotland deer have been part of our ecosystem for millennia and grazing deer are an essential part of natural forest systems. Wallaby have been part of the Inchconnachan fauna for eighty years.

Tree protection using tree guards and temporary exclusion fencing to keep grazers away from new plantations is one method of avoiding culling. Planting older saplings which will not be killed by grazing animals is another approach.

If it is really necessary to reduce numbers of wallabies and deer, please consider using contraceptive darts. When the local community protested over plans by the RSPB to cull goats on the north-east side of Loch Lomond the RSPB brought in a team of marksmen to dart the goats with long lasting contraceptives. If you contact the RSPB they should be able to give you details of the marksmen. Deer numbers on an enclosed military base in the USA were also reduced by contraceptive darting.

It might be possible to build a nesting platform to encourage White Tailed (seen nearby last year) or Golden Eagle to nest on the island thus creating a natural method of reducing wallaby and deer numbers.

I trust your clients will enjoy their new purchase and I hope they will seriously consider using natural and modern, humane alternatives to culling in their management of animals on Inchconnachan.

Yours sincerely,

John F. Robins,
Animal Concern Advice Line