I currently manage deer populations on a number of local grounds, including those of some well known national environmental, land owning and wildlife charities. In some grounds it is feasible to discretely cull offending deer, often using portable high seats to ensure safety and minimise disruption. Please contact me if I can offer any advice or be of assistance- if it's of interest, you can see more of my ethos and approach in this video.
Deer enjoy eating - or ‘browsing’ - the leaves, shoots and even the bark of woody plants and also many different wild flowers such as the rare oxlip. They have a devastating effect on the woodland when the population outgrows the food supply. Today, wild deer have become the single biggest threat to woodland in the UK.
The shrub layer of most local woodland has been entirely eaten by the deer. This natural layer of the woodland normally provides nesting habitat, shelter, nectar, berries and nuts for a whole range of birds, mammals and insects. With the shrub layer gone, all life suffers and if a wood can’t produce young trees, it will eventually die.
In larger numbers, deer need to go further for food and cause a great deal of damage to farmers’ crops, as well as causing up to 74,000 vehicle collisions every year on the UK’s roads.
Two main problems are that deer no longer have natural predators in the UK and mild winters in Southern England have resulted in a very high birthrate. For owners of ancient SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) woodland, responsible deer management is a statutory obligation.