Have your say on deer management – Take part in DEFRA’s Consultation before 2nd September

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Defra logo: Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs

Consultation launched on proposals for the deer management strategy 

Defra has launched a one-month consultation to seek views on the key proposals and actions to include in the final deer management strategy, developed by the Forestry Commission and Defra.

Wild deer, especially native species, are an important and valued part of our natural heritage. In England however, due to a number of factors, including land use changes and a lack of natural predators, deer density and distribution have dramatically increased over the last century, and at such levels pose a significant risk to our woodlands and the other animals that rely on them. Evidence of the negative effects caused by deer across the country is widespread. This includes: Putting browsing pressure (the consumption of tree shoots, shrubs and woody vegetation) on new woodlands and ground flora Inhibiting regeneration of existing woodlands making them vulnerable to disease and climate change. Reducing final timber crop value by up to 30-50% through browsing damage. Causing significant crop and agricultural damage, with some individual landowners having lost in excess of £1 million per year to deer damage. We know this is an important strategy and that we need to do more to manage deer to reduce damage to agricultural crops and improve the condition and biodiversity of our existing woodland to support successful tree establishment rates and develop more sustainable alternatives to fencing and plastic tree guards in the landscape. We look forward to hearing and considering your thoughts on the key proposals and actions to include in the final strategy, the consultation will close at 23:45 on 2 September 2022 and we will issue a response in due course. 

Read the Forestry Commission’s latest blog for more information on the strategy. 

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