Cornish deer on the rise

Cornwall’s deer population has risen 10-fold in the last decade, according to reports.

The south-west branch of the British Deer Society has confirmed that herds of deer up to 20 strong have been seen. Spokesman Paul Messenger said: “I’m seeing a greater number and more people come to the society and say they saw one or two deer a few years ago but now they’re seeing herds of 10 or 20 at a time.”

This initial rise is numbers is thought to be linked to the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001, which meant a lot of livestock was either kept indoors or killed, increasing the deer’s roaming space. Mr Messenger said: “If the deer are left to their own devices the numbers will continue to increase. We will have more road traffic accidents, great losses to agriculture.”

Agriculture is not the only area to be affected by deer numbers, as the British Trust for Ornithology carried out research into the effects deer had on bird populations, and claimed that deer in fact could be responsible for falling numbers of birds such as nightingales, as they could reduce the quality of the birds’ habitat.

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