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Information on the British Deer Society (BDS) Midlands, Wales & the Marches branch including events, contacts, and news.

Branch Area and committee

Chair Ian Skelton
Phone  T: 07885 843298
Secretary Sally Barrell
ChairIan Skelton
Vice ChairAlan Barrell
SecretarySally Barrell
TreasurerArnoud Roele
Training OfficerDominic Hayes

Committee members:
John Richards, Richard Evans, Chris Lawton, Robert Taylor and Graham Barratt

Postcode Area
B Birmingham
CH Chester
CW Crewe
DE Derby
DY Dudley
HR Hereford
LD Llandrindod Wells
LL Llandudno
SA Swansea
ST Stoke-on-Trent
SY Shrewsbury
TF Telford
WR Worcester
WS Walsall
WV Wolverhampton






See the news section below for more details on our events.

We are also on Facebook please search ‘BDS Midlands Wales and Marches Branch


No upcoming events, please check back soon.


Branch Activities.

On Cannock Chase, there is a new Grazing for Conservation project using cattle to help manage and re-generate low-land heathland, Cannock Chase Rangers and committee members Rob Taylor and Baz Barrett have been instrumental in trialling mammal crossing points to help aid deer and other wildlife to move across areas of stock fencing.

These are post and rail fences with wide gapped rails at strategic points identified by an impact and activity survey conducted by the Cannock Chase deer predict before the fence line was planned. All medium to high use deer racks were identified and crossing points were installed on these racks.

Early indications have proved very positive with Fallow, Muntjac, badgers and fox regularly using the wildlife crossing points. Trail cam shots indicate the high level of usage by the deer. This especially helps fallow fawns move in family groups across the fence lines without hindrance and the dangers of injury by getting caught up in standard wire stock fencing. 

The plan is to roll these out to other areas of Cannock Chase in the near future as new fences are installed or old ones are renewed.

In October we held yet another very successful First Aid +F course in Stafford, demand is such that these are destined to become a regular feature of Branch activities.

On 11th November many branch members were to be found at ‘poaching’ at a best practice event at The Gainsborough House Hotel, Kidderminster which was organised by The Forestry Commission and Wyre Forest Deer Management Group. The event featured an enthralling and lively talk by Professor Naomi Sykes on the history and movement of Fallow Deer around the UK and Europe from prehistoric to present times based on archaeological research, genome typing and historical records. It was followed by a talk from author and eminent deer stalker John Thornley on modern fallow deer management.

Branch Chair, Ian Skelton, continues to meet regularly with The Staffordshire Wildlife and Rural Crime Prevention Team. He is also liaising and providing advice to The M.6 Toll road management team on reducing road traffic collisions on the motorway by preventing Red Deer from straying onto the motorway.

Vice-Chair, Alan Barrell, continues to sit on two firearms licensing liaison user groups in the area, these covering Warwickshire and West Mercia Areas where he represents The BDS and The NGO.

The Branch is liaising with regard to a planning application for a solar park in an area of Shropshire which has a high Fallow population likely to be adversely affected by the development.

fallow buck by Lubos Houska

A plea for help

We have identified one possible site which may, following official inspection, be used as a rifle range for training purposes but we are on the lookout for any suitable site in our area. If anyone knows of a possible site would they please get in touch with the committee.

Your committee can be contacted as follows;

Chairman Ian Skelton on  or tel. no. 07885843298
Secretary, Sally Barrell on or tel. no. 07936511928

fallow doe by Lubos Houska

Stay in touch

If your contact information has changed please make sure to let us know.  To update your details simply email or call 01425 655434.


roe deer at sunrise in a misty winter forest Norfolk by Simon Bratt

BDS Response to the Defra Consultation on Proposed Deer Management Strategy

The British Deer Society (BDS) has reviewed in detail the consultation on proposed deer management published by Defra on the 4th of August 2022. Whilst we welcome the consultation in general terms, and in particular the intent to develop a wider market for venison, we have serious concerns about some of the proposals.

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