Research highlights importance of deer management

A study presented to the British Ecological Society has recognised the need for effective deer management systems in woodland.
The research, overseen by Natural England across 80 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, found that deer over-grazing had a knock-on effect that could damage woodland ecologies.
Findings indicated that landowner partnerships over large areas were the best way to minimise deer damage, and that the work of groups such as the Deer Initiative was having a positive impact in establishing a sustainable and balanced deer population.
While this is not likely to be news for sporting rifle shooters or land managers, the official recognition of deer management programmes as providing a positive environmental impact is certainly welcome.
The Countryside Alliance’s David Taylor said: “The Natural England report on deer numbers in Britain confirms exactly what the shooting community has known for years.
“Overgrazing by deer is a real and genuine threat to the survival of our native flora and fauna.
“The British countryside is a complex web of relationships, which has been shaped by man for centuries. We are merely guardians of this environment, and must continue to maintain the balance. Failure to do so would deny all future generations the countryside that is so dear to us all.”

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