The study began in 1978 at Glenbranter Forest, Argyll. Use of habitat by red and roe deer was measured from the accumulation of pellet groups and from observations. Approximately 2000 trees less than 9 years old and 6000 older ones were monitored for damage and response.
Habitats in areas dominated by heather in or close to the forest were the most occupied by both species and pole-stage crops the least. However, most dung was found on the extensive areas of recently planted ground. Roe deer were relatively more abundant than red deer in stands of 9 to 15 year-old trees.
In summer, red deer ate mainly grasses and roe mainly forbs. In winter, these preferences remained, but Calluna became more important to both.
Browsing on leaders was heaviest in winter and May–June. Approximately 50% of leaders on trees less than 6 years old were browsed annually. Most trees regained leaders within 12 months, many becoming multi-stemmed. Of the trees. 1% were bark-stripped per annum. In older stands the smaller trees were most damaged, in younger stands the larger trees.