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Deer population spreads out across England

[Monday 21 August 2006]

IF you are very lucky - and very quiet - you may catch a glimpse of one here in the Yorkshire Dales and new research suggests that a number of Deer species are becoming more common across the country.

Deer are spreading out across England

Carried out by the research department of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the study has confirmed that some deer species - as well as increasing their numbers - are now extending their range across the country.

With the deer population in England now thought to be at its highest level for a millennium, BASC has conducted a detailed survey of its members who are involved in deer management.

According to the results the distribution of the small Muntjac deer has increased in the last decade, with the species being reported as far west as Cornwall and as far north as Lincolnshire and Cheshire. Chinese Water deer have moved further into East Anglia while other species such as fallow and roe deer have spread across the Midlands and the north of England.

There are six species of deer found in the wild in the British Isles: Red, Sika, Fallow, Muntjac, Chinese Water Deer, and Roe. Red and roe deer are the only species native to the UK while the others have established themselves after being introduced or escaping from private collections and deer parks. It is the Red Deer that will usually be sighted here in the Dales.

The growing number of recreational deer stalkers plays an increasingly important role in deer management in the

Alan McCormick - BASC

With the increase in Deer populations the country pursuit of "stalking" has also become increasingly popular. The 'Deer Stalking Today' report showed that BASC has over 13,000 deer stalker members which is an increase of over 30% in the last decade.

The survey also found that the average recreational and professional stalker is now more active than in 1996, with both types of stalkers going out more often. Recreational stalkers spent 28.5 days stalking in 2005/06 compared to 20 days a year in 1995/6. Professional stalkers spent 98.5 days stalking in 2005/6 compared to 71.5 days a year in 1995/6.

BASC Deer Officer, Alan McCormick, said "We have found that more people are becoming interested in deer stalking with an increasing number actually going out stalking for the first time. The growing number of recreational deer stalkers plays an increasingly important role in deer management in the UK. "

Your views:

    Although it is a good thing that more and more people are going stalking and getting in to country sports, I think they should be monitored more closely and make deer stalker certificates harder; because the more people that do it, the more mistakes that can be made, resulting in inexperienced people going out and injuring deer.

    Also the professional stalker is getting put out of his job

    James Aldcroft - Horwich, Nolton

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