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How Our Volunteers Make A Difference For Deer

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Article by:
Andrea Barden, Marketing & Fundraising Executive, British Deer Society

The British Deer Society is taking part in Volunteers Week to recognise and celebrate the amazing contribution our volunteers make to support the work of our charity. 

See: Celebrating Our Volunteers Making A Difference For Deer

As part of our celebration and thank you we wanted to share all the ways our volunteers our helping us to: achieve our mission to educate and inspire everyone about deer in their environment; and to continue our work to advocate for the highest standards of deer welfare and management.

The Many Ways Our Volunteers Support Our Work


The British Deer Society includes 16 regional branches across the UK and Northern Ireland. Each one of these branches is maintained and managed by a dedicated group of volunteers.

Branch volunteers frequently help represent the BDS at regional country shows and similar events. They also organise local group get-togethers, outings and range days which enable all those passionate about deer and ensuring humane and sustainable management of deer to come together to share their stories, ideas, experience and expertise.

Interested in getting involved with the BDS in your area?


The BDS is actively involved in conducting and supporting research, monitoring and survey work related to maintaining healthy populations of wild deer in the UK that are in balance with their environment.

Volunteers are an absolute necessity in enabling us to do this work as they often make a significant contribution in the collection of the data required to successfully conduct the research.

Our regular deer distribution survey provides an important examples of how volunteers contribute to deer research in the UK.


The BDS carries out many educational and training activities across the UK and online to help inspire everyone about deer in their environment and to ensure the best practice standards of deer management are always maintained.

Trained and experienced volunteers frequently take part in these activities and provide priceless support not only to our educators and trainers, but also to those taking part in the courses.

Our deer management training, although already one-of-a-kind due the level of expertise and knowledge of our trainers in best practice and humane deer management, also offer, thanks to the presence of highly experienced volunteers on assessment days, an exceptional level of support and guidance rarely available elsewhere.


The BDS, and in particular our Wessex Branch chair and members, have been instrumental in helping create a network of exceptionally trained volunteers to support the police in several regions across the country to carry out swift and humane dispatch of deer which have been seriously injured in road traffic accidents or similar incidents.

H.A.D. volunteers are extremely dedicated and respond at all hours of the day and night to ensure that our deer do not suffer a slow and painful death at a roadside or trapped in fencing.

If you, like us always put deer welfare first and have the necessary level of prior training, along with a Fire Arms Certificate (FAC), you can find out more about the training involved to become a Humane Animal Dispatch Volunteer here.


The Ministry of Defence (MOD) manages some 240,000 hectares of land in the UK and all six species of UK wild deer are present on the defence estates.

The Defence Deer Management Group (DDM) is a voluntary group of serving military, MOD civil servants and, where necessary, retired personnel who provide a humane and sustainable deer management service on behalf of the MOD.

DDM’s deer management objectives are environmental and as an organisation it is committed to the conservation and welfare of British wild deer.  It aims to ensure the delivery of a sustainable, well-managed and healthy wild deer population on the defence estate.

If you’re involved with the MOD and interested in getting involved with the work of the DDM, you can read more here.

Once again, the BDS couldn’t achieved what it has over the last 60 years without the contribution of all our volunteers, and for that we can never thank them enough!

Would You Like To Get Involved?

Interested in volunteering?

Read: How to volunteer with the BDS

No time to volunteer but would love to help people learn more about deer? By supporting the British Deer Society (BDS), you are helping us provide free information and advice to everyone.

You can show your support by becoming a member or leaving us a donation to help us continue to educate and inspire people about deer.

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