Mar 172015

At the end of March a petition asking for answers about Tullos Hill will close. Anyone interested in finding out how their tax money is being used, anyone interested in saving the city’s remaining roe deer population, and anyone who wants to ensure further money isn’t wasted is urged to sign now. Suzanne Kelly updates Aberdeen Voice on the petition that the ‘Save The Tullos Hill Deer’ group created at the end of 2014.

roe-deer-fawn-picTime is running out for a petition which could force the city to release information on its costly Tree For Every Citizen scheme and which may help save the city’s remaining roe deer from further culling.

The petition can be found here.

Anyone resident in Aberdeen who is on the electoral role can sign. Signatories have to register with Aberdeen City via the link on the petition page.

Many people have reported problems with the city’s electronic system – anyone who wants help in registering can email

Aberdeen residents may recall the Liberal Democrats’ election pledge two elections back: A Tree For Every Citizen. Who could object to such a scheme, especially as it was not going to cost the Aberdeen taxpayer any money?

Aberdeen Voice investigations have since proved this innocent-sounding scheme was costly in terms of money and in the much-loved Tullos Hill roe deer population, which had existed in the meadowlands of Tullos for decades before the scheme was rolled out. No one was told that the majority of the trees were destined for meadowland on Tullos Hill (itself an industrial and domestic waste dumping area which had evolved into fields supporting insects, plants, birds and small animals).

No one was told that a previous scheme had seen Aberdeen’s taxpayers penalised £43,800 for the failure of the previous attempt to grow trees on the hill, either. Another fact which was not included in the public consultation was the city and Scottish Natural Heritage had already decided that to implement the scheme, they were going to kill most of the existing roe deer.

These deer had not previously been seen as a problem; they were simply small animals living 6-7 years, greatly enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.

Further background on the Tree For Every Citizen Scheme can be found by using Aberdeen Voice’s line search facility.

The scheme went ahead, and the trees planted are in many (if not all) areas on Tullos overshadowed by weeds which will likely kill them. Some three dozen roe deer were slaughtered – while people were allowed to roam on the hill — as a hired hunter shot them. The city’s risk matrix didn’t think that the residents using the hill for walking, bicycling or riding motorbikes were in any danger of running into a stray bullet.

The petition took months for the city to approve its wording. It had an initial deadline which was extended when it emerged that people who lived outwith the city or who were not on the electoral roll had been allowed to sign.  The city has allowed extra time for people to come forward to sign.

The petition asks for assurances that no further deer will be shot until at a minimum the actual population is known – there may be as few as 19 animals left in the city’s remaining, shrinking green belt pockets according to Scottish Natural Heritage Figures. Deer were killed to plant trees which may never thrive.

The city will be asked to disclose exactly how much money has been spent on the scheme to date; Aberdeen Voice has figures showing that the main consultant, Chris Piper, has received in excess of £50,000 for his services to date. Tens of thousands of pounds seem to have been spent on fencing. How much money the city spent on cleaning toxic chemicals from the soil and removing debris is unknown.

The petition also wants the city to ask for a guarantee from Scottish Natural Heritage / The Forestry Commission that the taxpayer will not be expected to hand over another £48,000 should this current tree-planting scheme fail – which some believe it is destined to do.

Anyone who wants answers or who wants to protect the remaining deer is urged to sign before the end of March.

STOP PRESS: Some new information has come to light in relation to the Tree For Every Citizen Scheme. Aberdeen Voice will report soon.

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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]

  12 Responses to “Tullos Hill Petition Closing Soon – More Signatures Needed”

  1. Signing against

  2. These are magnificent creatures and we should do everything in our power to save these beautiful animals, too much culling of poor defenseless animals are allowed

  3. These are majestic creatures and should be saved at all costs.too much culling have went on in this world show some compassion

  4. Please stop.

  5. Deer are beautiful animals let’s keep them safe

  6. Please stop this cull

  7. Save them they do no harm an hav been ther born an reared. Why shd they b moved.

    • The SNH and city will say that deer have (allegedly) been involved in 30 accidents last year. Well, if we left them some habitat and put up signs to warn motorists, things might be different. The city have repeatedly been asked to put up deer crossing signs (like you’d see further north or in the USA) – but the city says people ignore signs. Somehow that doesn’t stop the city putting up all sorts of other signs. If only they wanted to move the deer – but that is (laughably) illegal: they just shoot them. The logic for not moving deer is that some of them would die if tranquilized (I am sure there are ways to measure doses of such tranquilizers). So instead the SNH shoots 100%, rather than giving some the chance to be relocated.

  8. I used to live beside the Gramps as we knew it then. I walked the dog there regularly, rode my horse there regularly, and played with my son there when he was a little boy. We even had barbeques there. The deer have lived quite happily on this hill for years. Why does man have to interfere and ruin things. This area should be for the people and the wildlife to enjoy. STOP KILLING OUR WILDLIFE

  9. Question? Does anyone do anything these days for the love of it? Or are we totally consumed by money, greed and self importance?

    Trust us you say, okay we did and look what happened.

    What excuse next? We shall wait for your answer.

  10. Against

  11. Happy to say the petition was successful; more details here

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