Good morning and welcome to The British Deer Society

South West England

South West England

Branch information and events

We look forward to seeing many of you at the various events we have planned for the year so far:


28th/29th June Range Weekend at Trewortha Farm on Bodmin Moor

Branch contacts

Chairman Carmen Hocking
Secretary Sharif Adams

2019 News

Range Weekend

The South West Branch has planned a range weekend for Friday 28th and Saturday 29th June 2019. The venue is Trewortha Range near North Hill on Bodmin Moor, OS Grid Reference: Map 201: Grid 242 753 please approach from Berriowbridge.

The Range will open on Friday afternoon at 2 pm for sporting clays ( £20 per 100 ) and indoor 22 Rim Fire ( £5. Per person ). After shooting our annual evening BBQ will be held out on the 100 metre range field. Please bring along your own tipple and BBQ food.

Camping, caravanning or bunk house accommodation is available for a charge of £10 per person per night. All main facilities exist on site.

Saturday’s Range Day will start with Range Briefings at 08:45 and 09:45 sharp, please ensure you arrive in time. The Zero Range is available to all and the Annual Stalkers Challenge is to be shot out to 300 yards.  The Stalkers Challenge requires 20 rounds.  The range fee for the day is £25 for Members and £30 for non-members. This fee includes all sentries, targets, and general running costs.

For further information please contact and support your local Branch Committee.  


Our Member’s Day and AGM was held on the 8th April at the Countryman, Sandford Courteney, near Okehampton.

The well-attended gathering was welcomed by Chairman Martin Lamb before we were entertained and educated by our speakers. Charles Smith-Jones talked about his experiences writing about deer and David Ireson gave us an interesting insight into Living with Deer through the ages.

Following the formalities of a brisk AGM, we had the pleasure of welcoming PC Martin Beck, the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary Wildlife Crime Officer. His riveting talk about rural crime, in particular, deer poaching, was overall to quickly before it was time for a carvery lunch. In the afternoon the proceedings continued with an excellent UK DTR talk and dog tracking demonstration.

The Committee elected on the day were:

President: Rosemary Bethell

Chairman: Martin Lamb

Vice Chair: Carmen Hocking

Secretary: Sharif Adams

Treasurer: Carmen Hocking

Training Officer: Paul Messenger

Committee: Ryan Brentnall, Hamish Dawe, Rob Durrant, Gary Elliot, Dom Moore

Martin Lamb subsequently resigned from his post. As per our Constitution, Carmen Hocking is now Acting Chairman and Treasurer.  Following a Committee Meeting Paul Messenger is now Acting Vice Chair in addition to Training Officer having been proposed for the position by Carmen and seconded by Hamish Dawe.

Rural crime meetings

It has been a fairly quiet time for the South West Branch with no shows or training to attend. I have represented the BDS in two Devon & Cornwall Rural Crime meetings also attended by BASC, the NGO, D&C Constabulary and the Deer Initiative. The initial meeting was to introduce PCs Beck and Collins to the other countryside and wildlife agencies, to expand on the rural crime initiative to the heads of the regions and to discuss what is being put in place by D&C and how we can be of assistance. Operation Poacher has gone live. We are putting an email out to our members explaining about the initiative, how they can effectively report rural and wildlife crime and especially poaching, the correct terminology to use when reporting to 101 and how that report will be followed up. Dorset Constabulary are way ahead of the game and will be in on future meetings to guide the team on how best to move forward, something that the BDS South West is very much at the forefront of.


We will be at The Royal Cornwall Show, Wadebridge from June6-8. Keep an eye out for more show dates throughout 2019.


We have received two very kind donations from David Ireson for the sum of £100. David gave two speeches to a group of naturalists who donated £50 each for his speech and David has passed this on to the South West Branch. David will also be one of our guest speakers discussing living with deer since the ice age.

Forthcoming events

The South West Branch will be announcing dates for events such as Deer Walk & Talk showing novice stalkers, photographers and interested parties areas out in the field with browse lines, racks, rutting stands and couching areas. There will be dates for High Seat Building workshops and a Best Practice Day here in the South West. There is plenty going on this year and members can keep up to date on the BDS website by clicking on About Us, Regions the South West Branch, or via our Branch Facebook page. Email to be given access to this closed members-only Facebook page. Thank you to all of you for your continued support, your South West of England branch committee work hard to bring you these events. Please support them and come along and enjoy the day and meeting new people.