I WAS reading Rob Gibson’s reference to the “exemplary” management of deer and native woods on Glenfeshie estate (Letters, April 22) when terrible news arrived. Three children of Anne and Anders Povlsen, the Danish owners of Glenfeshie, had been killed in Sri Lanka ("Scotland’s biggest landowner loses three children in attack”, The Herald, April 23). The hundreds of lives lost and irrevocably changed by these horrific acts of terrorism will bring deep sadness to all involved. But those three children are now part of a vision that is bringing renewal and repair to large tracts of the Highlands. Several generations of this family, from grandparents and parents to the four children, have demonstrated a great affection for the land and people of Scotland. No doubt that will be reciprocated in their time of greatest need.

Personally I would be quite happy if Mr Povlsen doubled his land holding in Scotland, despite already owning, at 220,000 acres, more land than anybody else. The reason is simple – no other private landowners seem to be learning the lessons from Glenfeshie. Mr Povlsen should carry on buying estates as fast as he can until other private owners can demonstrate that they understand what deer management in 21st century Scotland is all about. Present-day deer population levels must be adjusted, as a top priority, to meet climate change requirements. Tree and shrub vegetation needs to expand, without fences, capturing carbon, increasing biodiversity and reducing river flooding.

The first requirement, if any landowners are going to learn from the Glenfeshie experience, is over their southern border, on Atholl estates. A walk across the watershed from Glenfeshie soon reveals huge herds of deer, with no regenerating trees and shrubs and heather browsed down to crew-cut depth. A statutory cull is urgently needed here if the owners cannot be persuaded to take the necessary action. Dialogue might be difficult – the Duke of Atholl is believed to live in South Africa.

Closer to home is Balmoral estate, the next priority and, with the Royal Family in charge, easier to persuade, in theory. Unfortunately, many years of effort by experts like Dick Balharry and Adam Watson failed to persuade the Royal Family to reduce deer numbers on Balmoral to levels which allowed natural regeneration to flourish, as in Glenfeshie. So I look forward to the day, hopefully in the near future, when I can wander across Balmoral estate, climbing the slopes of Lochnagar and see, at long last, the Old Caledonian Pinewood naturally regenerating towards its altitudinal limit. That will be the day to give thanks to the Povlsens, and all their children.

Dave Morris,

2 Bishop Terrace, Kinnesswood, Kinross.