Local entrepeneur David Young has vowed to fight on in a bid to grow his business.
David (45), who runs a mobile snack van from the Linlithgow Rugby Club car park applied for planning permission for a permanent catering facility but West Lothian Council turned him down.
He now plans to fight the council’s decision, claiming that a permanent facility in a landscaped area is more in keeping with the area and would look more professional than a mobile unit.
David is unusual in that his van is no ordinary ‘greasy spoon’ van. He was adamant when setting it up that it would offer something extra for the more discerning lunchtime diner and says that is all the more reason to allow him to place a permanent professional unit on site.
David is a top shot, having first started shooting with his dad aged 14, before qualifying with the British Deer Society as a registered stalker.
Taking the idea of ‘hillside to table’ right to the door of the snack van, his previous experience of working in an abattoir means he has the required skills to ‘dress’ the deer he shoots.
David has set up a fully licensed butchery at his home in Linlithgow, where he is also registered as a venison dealer.
He said: “While I appreciate shooting any animal is an emotive subject, and no two people will ever agree, a stalker has to be properly qualified and trained to dispatch deer humanely and effectively. That means that there are certain circumstances where wildlife, including deer, have to be culled, not only for the overall health and well-being of the herd, but also for the grazing land they inhabit. If herds are allowed to increase in size with no control, the chances are deer could starve to death for a lack of food.”
As a result of having the skills to butcher venison, the obvious next step was to promote the meat, selling it as burgers and steaks from his van.
David said: “I wanted to offer something different, which is why I sell sausage from the local butcher, Stornoway black pudding and, of course, my own wild venison.’’
David, who has shot the world over, from boar in the Black Forest to deer at Balmoral, is not what one expects. The image of a gung-ho marksman couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s a softly spoken, almost shy individual, who doesn’t find talking about himself easy. Recently asked by STV to feature in a news piece, he has thus far shunned the request, much preferring to remain in the background.
He said: “I find all this interest quite bemusing, I’m just an ordinary guy doing a very ordinary job, but it’s nice to be recognised for trying to do something mundane differently.