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Information on the British Deer Society (BDS) North West England branch including events, news, and contacts.


 Chair Iain
 Treasurer Giles Thornley

Additional Committee Members

Andy Massingham.

Judy Richardson

Craig Parkinson

Nick Jackson

Simon Roch

Ben Roch

All BDS/BASC/NGO members are welcome to join us on range days providing they have a current FAC and pre book/pre pay.’

IMIsle of Man




Sunday 9th july 2023

Rifle skills Range day

Saturday 15th July 2023

ATV Sit Side by Side (fully booked)

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th August 2023

Marksmanship Development courses - FULLY BOOKED

Saturday 9th September 2023

ATV/Quad Sit Astride Course in South Lakes (FULLY BOOKED)

Wednesday-Thursday 13th – 14th September 2023

Westmorland Show

Saturday 14th October 2023

Guests of Eskdalemuir Range

Thursday 11th January 2024

Deer evening Talk

See below for more details on these events.

Download Event List


No upcoming events, please check back soon.


Events for 2023

Below are details of our Branch AGM and the diary of a good mixture of events for the year (though a few are still to be confirmed/finalised). Many of the events have a limited number of places – so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Sunday 9th July 2023
Range Day – Venue Grayrigg start 9.30 am 

To secure a specific time slot please email quoting July Range Day in the title and your preferred time (or just turn up on the day and wait for an available space). Please note if you are a non-FAC holder you must book in and pay before 1st July 2023. Bacon sandwiches, then burgers will be on sale and there will be free tea and coffee if you bring your own mug.

Saturday 15th July 2023 ATV Sit Side by Side (Polaris, Argocat etc.) Course near Penrith – FULLY BOOKED

Saturday 12th August and Sunday 13th August 2023 – Marksmanship Development courses, South Lake District, 2023

The BDS North West England Branch and Forestry Commission are hosting two one-day Marksmanship Development courses to cover rifle proficiency training and safety.

The first day is Saturday 12th August and the second Sunday 13th August. The venue is on the Graythwaite Estate in the South Lakes.

The courses are delivered by Bradley Bourner, a professional deer manager and former Royal Marines Commando sniper. They will include morning instruction in the classroom and a chance to put learnings into practice on the range in the afternoon.

The cost is £120 per person for the day. The course is open to all. To secure a place please email quote ‘Marksmanship’ in the title and give your preferred day.

Fallow deer during the rutting season By Menno Schaefer

Saturday 9th September 2023 

ATV/Quad Sit Astride Course in South Lakes – to book please email quoting Quad Sep in the title –  FULLY BOOKED.

Wednesday-Thursday 13th – 14th September 2023 

Come and see us at our stand at the Westmorland Show – have a go at our quiz!!

Saturday 14th October 2023

Guests of Eskdalemuir Range – to book please email quoting Eskdalemuir in the title

November 2023 – time & venue t.b.c

Deer Evening

Anyone wishing to book EFAW/EFAW+F Courses, please email BDS NEE member Alistair Myers on as they are held monthly near Penrith

If you are interested in a Marksmanship course run by Bradley Bourner of this summer, please email and quote ‘Marksmanship’ in the title

British Deer Society History/Background

It had become clear in the years following the Second World War that wild deer were more numerous than had previously been thought and were damaging post-war agricultural food production. Deer control was haphazard and some of the methods used to keep numbers down would now be considered inhumane. Many animals were left injured, and deer were often killed regardless of species, age or sex. Orphaned offspring were common as there was no close season to protect nursing females. As the Deer Group grew, the breadth of its activities expanded beyond the remit of the parent body to include conservation and lobbying, and the group became the independent British Deer Society in 1963.

BDS members were able to influence the wording of the Deer Act in England & Wales, which was adopted in 1963 and resulted in the bringing in of close seasons and other measures to promote deer welfare and humane deer management. BDS was involved in the drafting of further legislation, including the Deer Act 1991, subsequent reviews of the Act, and European directives on game meat handling and hygiene.

The aims of the Society have changed little over the years, developing its charitable remit to promote conservation in balance with the environment, through a programme of education, research, lobbying, deer management training and publishing the Society journal ‘Deer’. This has earned it wide respect and recognition internationally as well as across government, the deer Industry and with the public at large. It attends shows and organises events across the country seeking to fulfil its remit and raise funds to pursue its aims.


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


Surveillance for coronaviruses in wildlife

Surveillance for Coronaviruses in Wildlife

The British Deer Society is asking its members and supporters to assist with a surveillance study looking into coronaviruses in wildlife. This study aims to support the development of diagnostic tests, aid future surveillance, and improve preparedness for future coronavirus outbreaks.

Red Deer Stags at Sunset in Scotland By Mark Connelly

BDS CEO Goes Live On TalkTV To Promote Fact-led Deer Management

David Mcauley, British Deer Society (BDS) CEO went live on TalkTV and Radio at the weekend to promote the importance of having more fact-led approaches in deer management, less sensationalism in the media around total UK deer numbers and to speak up for deer welfare.

Deer Management in the UK: Sustainability Verses Eradication

Deer Management in the UK: Sustainability Verses Eradication

Recently, we received a heartfelt letter from a dedicated member of the British Deer Society (BDS), a seasoned deer stalker with 30 years of experience who was dismayed by the indiscriminate and unsustainable shooting of roe deer around his management areas. His words shed light on the evolving challenges faced by conscientious deer managers who prioritise legal and humane practices in an environment where not all shooters share the same values.

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