Good morning and welcome to The British Deer Society
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    What do we do? - BDS promotes deer education, research and management best practice to ensure a healthy and sustainable deer population in balance with the environment; a key feature of the biodiversity of the UK landscape.

    What do we do?
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Our aim - BDS aims to be the go-to place for objective and unbiased information on the biology of deer and methods of deer management, humane treatment and control.

    Our aim
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Research - BDS provides funding and support for high quality deer research to inform government(s), academia, trade organisations, members, the media and the public.

    Our research
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Membership - BDS embraces a varied membership ranging from professional biologists, enthusiastic naturalists, keen photographers, wildlife artists and chefs to deer managers and stalkers. All are welcome.

    Join us
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Education - BDS aims to improve general education and understanding of all deer-related issues, through active engagement and access to high quality educational materials.

    Our education
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Training - We develop and deliver high quality training programmes to promote best practice in deer management.

    Our training
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    How can you help us? - Help BDS continue its education and research programme. Secure the future of wild deer in the UK by becoming a member, making a donation, or purchasing from our shop. Thank you for your support.

    Join | Donation | Shop

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Latest News

BDS Supports Royal Parks in Protecting Deer

Richmond and Bushy parks are wonderful places to visit and much loved by the many people that use them. In these uncertain times, it is understandable that the public wants to visit for some much-needed exercise and relaxation. 

However, the volume of people use the parks and how some people are behaving is causing serious issues and directly impacting the welfare of the parks' deer.

Although closed to traffic and cyclists, the number of visitors spread out over through the parks, have left few refuges for the deer. Last weekend park staff picked up in excess of five tons of picnic litter and waste. There have also been multiple deer worrying incidents by dogs, some fatal for the deer. 

 Baby deer in Bushy Park. Credit Amanda Cook

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High Risk of Wildfires in the UK!

Currently, much of England has a high to very high risk of wildfires according to The Met Office's Fire Severity Index (FSI). Although some regions may have experienced rain over the bank holiday weekend the risk still remains high.

Low levels of rainfall have left the countryside unusually dry and recent weeks have already seen some devastating fires which have killed wildlife and destroyed huge areas of habitat.  In many cases, barbecues and open fires have been implicated in starting them.  Even a carelessly discarded cigarette can start a blaze and any fire lit on dry ground may risk igniting material below the surface.  This can continue to smoulder and flare up later even if the fire appears to be out.

The British Deer Society strongly urges that fires of any kind (including barbecues) should not be lit anywhere that has restrictions in place. If you are not sure about possible restrictions then please don't take the risk. We would also like to remind everyone that ‘wild’ or any other kind of overnight camping is still currently not allowed anywhere in the UK.

The flames spread quickly through the forest

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Deer Welfare - May and June

Key deer welfare areas for May and June

Deer on the Roads 
During the lockdown, our deer ventured out onto the road more than ever and now that the traffic is starting to return we are hearing of more and more deer-vehicle collisions.

In addition, this time of year often sees a peak in DVCs as deer are on the move and last year's young being pushed out to find new territories.

Please watch out for deer on our roads day and night!

Advice for drivers

Young Deer
As highlighted above this is the birthing season for many of our deer species, so pregnant females need to be left in peace. Young deer will often be left somewhere safe while mum is feeding as they can't always keep up. These are not abandoned and should be left alone as mum will be close by.

More so than ever it is important to keep dogs under a watchful eye and control.

Please help spread the word and keep wild deer and the public safe!

More information on abandoned young

young roe kid

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COVID-19: BDS Advice to Deer Stalkers

COVID-19:  BDS Advice to Deer Stalkers - issued 11 May 2020

Further to the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday 10 May 2020, and the more detailed COVID-19 Recovery Strategy published today, the British Deer Society interprets the current situation as follows:

With effect from Wednesday 13 May 2020 deer stalking and associated management activities may resume in England only under the relaxation of guidelines affecting exercising outdoors.

There are no restrictions on how many times, or for how long, you may exercise each day.

In line with social distancing guidelines, you should remain at least 2 metres separate from anyone from outside your household and be aware of not touching shared surfaces.

Effective hand hygiene is essential.

You should not exercise with more than one other person from outside your household.

It is acceptable to drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance.

Appropriate planning for the extraction, transport and subsequent disposal of carcases should be conducted prior to stalking to ensure that all remains within government guidelines.

Different rules exist in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where the devolved administrations still stipulate separate guidance and regulations.  All travel or other movement must respect this.

Stalkers are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, with special attention given to the rules for public spaces (page 27). It can be viewed in full here

The above advice is intended for unpaid, recreational stalkers.  Where stalking is conducted on a professional basis, employers remain responsible for ensuring appropriate safe conditions for employees and follow existing government advice and the ‘COVID-19 Secure’ guidelines which will be published later this week.

The British Deer Society will continue to monitor the situation and issue further advice when necessary.


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Forthcoming Events

21 August - 23 August
DSC1 Chippenham, Cambs
29 August - 31 August
DSC1 Shrewsbury, Shropshire
05 September - 06 September
Wolsingham Show
Wolsingham, Bishop Auckland DL13 3JF
11 September - 13 September
DSC1 Grantham, Lincolnshire

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