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


Chair Hugh van Cutsem
Secretary Stuart Ship
To email the branch please use the addresses below:
SN1 – SN7Swindon
SN10 and aboveSwindon




Friday 27th October 2023

Project Artemis Talk by Steve Tomkins - Winterbourne Pub

Monday 11th December

Branch agm

See below for more details.


No upcoming events, please check back soon.


BDS West Branch AGM 2023 Agenda

Held by zoom at 5.30pm on 11th December, 2023

The meeting will be held virtually to enable as many people as possible to attend.

Please email if you would like to attend so that we can then send the zoom link through for the meeting
  1. Apologies.
  2. Minutes of the previous AGM and subsequent approval.
  3. Chairman’s Report.
  4. Treasurer’s report (HvC)
  5. Election of Branch Officials


  1. Chairman – Stuart Ship – Stuart Joined the West Branch of the BDS in 2020 after relocating to Wiltshire from Devon and the Highlands before that. A keen outdoorsman in all respects he enjoys driven shooting, fly fishing as well as managing the deer on 900 acres of farmland. For his day job he is a self-employed Management and Risk Consultant in Government and Defence.


  1. Vice Chair – We need to elect a vice chair as Emily Johnstone is stepping down as she will be on maternity leave.


  1. Treasurer – Hugh van Cutsem – Hugh has been a trustee Director of the BDS since 2016 and took over as Chairman in May 2021. Outside of this he is co-founding partner of a financial services business in London as well as running a small forestry business from home as well as being involved in a local lager brewery.


  1. Secretary – We need to elect a new Secretary


  1. Election of the Committee –
Lindy Larkin – Lindy is a General Practice Nurse in Swindon. She has always grown up around Deer stalking, often spending weekends in the high seat with her father when she was a child and then progressing to Deer stalking herself. She joined the BDS in 2009 when she completed her Level 1 through West Branch. Since then, she has represented West Branch at BDS range days and competitions through the years.
Mike Bagnowiec – Committee member – Mike is a Lantra Approved Trainer delivering BDS Level 1 and HAD Courses, also DMQ Assessor and IQA sponsored by BDS. Plus, He is the Deer Manager for Estates in Somerset and Gloucestershire with some work in Wiltshire.
  1. AOB.
Fallow Deer at Sunrise By Ian Schofield


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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