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Rural Women – Rhian’s Story

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Rhian Tyne, BDS youth ambassador, British Deer Society

Rhian Tyne is a 19-year-old lady deer stalker and BDS youth ambassador. She has a determination and passion for deer management that is truly impressive and a love for the countryside that is infectious.

Find out more about her experiences in her story below.

I’m Rhian, a 19-yr-old lady deer stalker. I’ve had a keen interest in country sports from a very young age and have held an open FAC since I was 14. Shortly after my 14th birthday I achieved my DSC1 qualification, making me one of the youngest people in the country to have done so, and almost certainly the youngest girl.

It was while attending the DSC course that I developed a real passion for sustainable deer management. Something just clicked in my mind, and from that point onwards a career in deer management became my overriding ambition. I first went stalking in Herefordshire on my 16th birthday and since then, I have stalked muntjac in East Anglia, fallow in Cheshire, roe and red deer in Scotland and feral goats in Snowdonia.

Rhian Tyne BDS youth ambassador

College Enrollment

With my heart set on deer management, in 2018 I enrolled on a Level 3 Game and Wildlife Management course at Reaseheath College in Cheshire. This two-year course included several periods of practical work experience within the sector, and I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time working alongside some extremely knowledgeable people and in some fantastic places including the Euston Estate in Suffolk and at Houghton Hall in Norfolk (home to an amazing herd of pure white fallow). Also, during this period, I was instrumental in the establishment of a park herd of fallow deer (together with deer larder and butchery unit) on my parents’ farm as a diversification project. So far this is proving a successful venture, with venison being sold directly from the farm to local customers.

Ever since I butchered my first muntjac buck I’ve been keen to promote the virtues of venison to a wider audience of potential consumers, and to this end I’ve worked with two Welsh TV production companies to produce a couple of programmes for S4C, featuring myself and promoting venison. Also, whenever I’ve had the chance I’ve helped on the BASC and NGO stands at various events, using these opportunities to engage with members of the public regarding the role that wildlife managers play in our rural landscape today.

I completed my college course in June 2020 and was delighted to pass with a distinction* grade, this however, was not all as I was further deeply honoured to be presented with the Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy. This trophy is awarded annually to the UK’s top game-keeping student, with the winner being selected from nominations submitted by all the land-based colleges in the country.

(Rhian has made history being the first female student ever to have won this award, which is a real testament to how hard she has worked and impact she has already made on those around her.)

After College

I walked out of college and straight into the chaos of the Covid lockdowns, which for a while seemed to block all my attempts to secure a job in my chosen field. This was so frustrating! However, thanks to remaining active on relevant social media groups, eventually an opportunity presented itself and I was able to make progress once again.

Currently I’m working as a seasonal ghillie on a traditional highland stalking estate near Fort William while actively seeking a full-time position within the deer industry.

 I’m so grateful to all the people who’ve helped me to develop my interests in deer management across all its forms and who have taught me so much. I’ve still got an awful lot to learn, but there’ll be no holding me back now I’ve got a foot in the door!

Rhian Tyne at work

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