Branch information and events
Information on the British Deer Society (BDS) North East England branch including events, news, and contacts.
|21st January 2020||
Members Evening and Branch AGM, 7 pm to 9 pm at Kirkley Hall.
More details available on these events in the news section below.
and Communications Officer
|Dr Al Gabrielfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Branch committee members
Dr Al Gabriel
The Annual General Meeting of the Branch will be held 7pm 21st January 2020, followed by a presentation and discussion on poaching, rural crime, and prevention measures.
The venue is Kirkley Hall, Ponteland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE20 0AQ.
At the A.G.M.
- Members will be updated on the activity of the past year
- The Branch Accounts will be approved.
- The Officers of the Branch and the new Committee will be elected.
- Any other matters of business can be raised.
For further information contact David Stewart by email email@example.com
This report comes as I complete my first year of chairing the North East branch committee. With the branch AGM coming up, it is appropriate to reflect here on what we have achieved and to briefly look at what we might do in 2020.
The support from the branch’s partners has been immense. For example Northumberland College, Kirkley Hall where we have held training events, committee meetings and members’ evenings. BASC northern who have been really supportive, providing space for us at shows and partnering with us during Taste of Game week in a young shots’ dinner. Then there are our neighbouring branches, Yorkshire and North West, who have been terrific in helping us out and making some of their events available to our members; and South East Scotland with whom we teamed up for the annual shooting event.
Equally immense has been the work of the branch committee over the year: David Adams, David Boyson, Andrew Collinson, Al Gabriel, Stephen Hyde, and Jamie Tranter have all been brilliant.
Outreach and involving the public
We have increased our presence at shows and continue to use this as our main means to get the message of deer wellbeing out to the public. With Al Gabriel’s guidance and his helpful networks, we attended Northumberland County Show as guests of BASC after years of absence. For the first time, we attended the Northumberland College Kirkley Hall countryside day with college staff member David Adams acting as the link. Then to round off the season Stephen Hyde took a team to Wolsingham to meet old and new friends.
We also helped out our Yorkshire neighbours at Countryfile Live. Fun though these events can be, what we don’t know is what our presence has achieved, either for the BDS or for the wellbeing of deer.
Engaging with our members
The level of service to our branch members over the past year has increased significantly.
We’ve a Facebook page that Al and Jamie Tranter ably administer. We have maintained our schedule of bi-monthly members’ evenings which included an opportunity to hear from the BDS chairman, the first such visit for over twenty years, as well as a welcome return to Raby Estate as guests of Iain Alexander.
Under the guidance of Andrew Collinson our treasurer we have maintained our branch fund balances and have actively participated in the national scheme to introduce branches to VAT. We have published quarterly e-newsletters and submitted texts for Deer.
We have also worked closely with the BDS staff team including dealing with deer-related enquiries from members and the general public.
Topics planned for members’ events next year include monitoring muntjac, poaching, rural crime, and butchery skills.
Challenges for 2020 have to include cracking the issue of improving communication with the 25% of branch members for whom we don’t have email addresses. We also need to find ways to involve more members in the committee and in designing and delivering the programme of events.
Education and training
Most of our events have a training component in them. As an example, the inter-branch shooting event that David Boyson organises for us is an essential skills test: for obvious reasons every stalker should make sure they check their rifle skills at least annually.
The mentoring scheme that Jamie Tranter organises has been very welcome. This scheme pairs novices with branch ‘elders’ so that the novice has access to both advice and ground. The BDS training team arranged a Deer Management Course and a DSC1 course in the northeast. The DM course was well attended with participants from all over the country.
Looking ahead, we are helping Yorkshire branch with one of their projects which should enable mentors and mentees to readily access and learn about red and fallow deer.
Over the last year the committee has done well, giving the branch a new energy and direction, we have had plenty of successes. I really hope the group members stand again and are re-elected so that they get the chance to address some of the more fundamental issues.