New advice published on managing wild deer in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds Conservation Board and The Deer Initiative have published new information about managing wild deer in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The new publication, which supports the Board's position statement on the management of deer, provides information about the needs and benefits of the effective management of a sustainable population of wild deer in the Cotswolds. It recognises that deer are part of the countryside and the chance of seeing these beautiful mammals is one of the many pleasures of living and visiting the Cotswolds AONB. However it also highlights the issues and impacts caused by high densities of deer in some areas. Deer numbers in the Cotswolds have increased over the years, which have led to increasing habitat damage, crop damage, collisions with road traffic and disease.

Mark Connelly, Land Management Officer at the Cotswolds Conservation Board said: "Working with the Deer Initiative, we have aimed to set out the reasons why deer need to be managed and how a properly managed population of deer is better for the environment, the people as well as the animals.

The management of deer is primarily the responsibility of the landowner, however it should be a long term process and is much more effective when landowners work together as part of a deer management group, of which there are two currently in the Cotswolds. The Deer Initiative can help provide advice and information to such groups."

Director of the Deer Initiative, Peter Watson, said: “We welcome this position statement and supporting leaflet as setting the way forward for sustainably managing deer in the Cotswolds AONB, and we look forward to working with the Board in the future on this joint venture.”

The new leaflet, along with the position statement can be downloaded from the Cotswolds Conservation Board's website or are available by calling the Board direct on 01454 862000.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

• The new Managing Deer in the Cotswolds leaflet can be downloaded here.
• The full position statement can be viewed online here

Cotswolds AONB fact file

• The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 37 members, 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by Government.

• The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.

• With its rolling hills and valleys the Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.

• The Cotswolds AONB is the largest of the family of 47 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.