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News archive

12 November 2020

Sentinel Unmanned Continue to Fly With BDS Support

Sentinel Unmanned Continue to Fly With BDS Support, Winning Place on Scottish Government Innovation Programme

Global pioneering designer, manufacturer and service provider of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), Sentinel Unmanned has reached the prestigious Accelerator Stage of the CivTech 5.0 programme.

Established by the Scottish Government, CivTech “drives daring and innovation in the public sector by collaboratively solving challenges to make people’s lives better—and in doing so, creates generations of sustainable, high growth businesses.” There is now a CivTech Alliance across the world with 11 member countries.

Within CivTech 5.0, ten challenges were issued by a variety of public bodies and a competitive process followed to identify the 2020 cohort, with over 100 applicants vying for a place in the initial Exploration stage.

Responding to the challenge set by Nature Scot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) of “How can we use technology to estimate herbivore populations and their impacts across Scotland in a greener and more cost-effective way?”, Sentinel was selected to take part in the Exploration Stage and was further successful in reaching the Accelerator Stage, where only one to two applicants work on each challenge for their Challenge Sponsor.

Sentinel are currently underway into a 14-week fast track programme to deliver a minimum viable product (MVP) which will be showcased on ‘demo day’ in early 2021.


05 November 2020

Things Getting on Top of You?

 The British Deer Society is concerned about the impact on mental health. This article offers some practice tips and links to resources to help us all get through.

A new lockdown has been implemented across England as of Thursday the 5th of November - similar restrictions are in place in Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This is important to reduce the risk of  C-19 spreading and protect the NHS.

The first lockdown revealed the heart of communities: local initiatives to support the most vulnerable, a sense of togetherness, neighbours spoke to each other (sometimes for the first time|!) and we clapped for Carers. People reconnected with those with whom they had lost contact with. Communities helped each other.

The new Lockdown comes at a difficult time - winter and long nights, bad weather, along with economic challenges. Lockdown can lead to loneliness, isolation, and stress - worrying about health, jobs, finances, redundancy, the house and the future. Peoples routines have been changed, social opportunities and support networks are restricted. This impacts all of us young and old alike.

04 November 2020

BDS Update on New National Lockdown and Guidance for England

The British Deer Society is closely monitoring the situation since the Government announced over the weekend that there will be new national lockdown restrictions.

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government has issued the following restrictions for England:

- Stay at home, except for specific purposes.

- Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.

- Closure of certain businesses and venues.

Click here to check guidance for full details  

We have noted in the Governments update that you can leave home for specific purposes. Some key ones to be aware of include:

Work and volunteering
You can leave home for work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where you cannot do this from home. This includes professional based culling – see below.

You can leave home for education (formal provision, rather than extracurricular classes such as music or drama tuition), and training. However, some BDS courses will be postponed due to accommodation difficulties or vulnerability as designated by the NHS and PHE, of course candidates.

BDS Update on New National Lockdown and Guidance for England

27 October 2020

New Covid restrictions threaten second surge in deer and wildlife collisions

British Deer Society and AA warn of a new danger as quieter roads, a twilight rush-hour and seasonal migrations combine

42% of young and least experienced drivers have encountered more deer and wildlife during or after the lockdown

Eastern England stands out as epicentre of increased incidences of dead and alive deer spotted by drivers

Quieter evening roads from a second wave of Covid nightlife restrictions threaten a resurgence of the deer and other wildlife collisions that marked the original lockdown and soon after, warns the British Deer Society and the AA. Roads with much less traffic lull animals into a false sense of security.

Two-fifths of people most likely to be driving later in the evening said they encountered more deer and other animals on the road during the first lockdown and afterwards. Latest Government statistics (14 October) * show Covid restrictions, even before wider restrictions in the past seven days, have cut car traffic to 85% of pre-lockdown levels.

deer and wildlife collisions 

26 October 2020

Does the UK Need Wolves and Lynx to Control Deer?

There have been a series of discussions among the scientific fraternity over the possibility of reintroducing wolves (and other large carnivores such as lynx) to the UK, all of which analyses have rejected the concept.

Both the Scottish and the English Governments have also made clear that they are not currently considering licensing any such introduction [see for example the Chairman’s Notes in the Autumn 2020 edition of ‘Deer’ ]

Those urging for such reintroductions argue that they will help to control deer numbers which are (in one quote) “spiralling out of control”. This makes a number of presumptions:

firstly that deer numbers are out of control and that conventional management methods are not able to contain those numbers;

second, that wolves or other large carnivores would have a controlling or regulatory effect on deer population numbers.

Neither assumption has been formally tested/proven by the proponents of such reintroductionThere is also the implicit assumption that deer are universally causing damaging impacts within woodlands.

Where deer are present in high densities they may indeed cause damage, inhibiting regeneration, reducing the diversity of the ground flora and according to some commentators having a negative impact on breeding success of some species of insectivorous birds such as nightingales. In other instances, however, grazing and browsing, by maintaining glades and clearings, may actively enhance diversity (again see the Chairman’s Notes in the Summer 2019 issue of ‘Deer’ ).

Crucially, while deer densities may reach high levels in some areas (and thus potentially have a significant impact on woodland structure), densities are not universally high across all woodlands in the UK and thus even where negative impacts may occur, these are not countrywide. 

22 October 2020

Webinar: The Debate Over Lead and Copper Ammunition

The webinar was streamed live on Wednesday 21st October at 19.30 on The British Deer Society YouTube Channel.*

There has been a lot of debate over lead ammunition and its copper-based alternatives. In this webinar, we discuss some of the issues and answer viewers questions. The webinar explores the topic, draws on the panels personal experiences to give a feel for where we are currently in the UK and what the future might hold.

Webinar panel:

- Nick Rout Professional - Stalker

- Megan Rowland - Stalker

- Andrew Venables - Trainer and Stalker

 Video of the webinar available below


16 October 2020

BDS Announces New CEO, David McAuley

The British Deer Society is pleased to announce the appointment of David McAuley as its new Chief Executive.

David grew up in Northern Ireland beginning his career as an electronic engineer with British Forces Broadcasting Service. He completed a Business Diploma and postgraduate qualifications in Total Quality Management and Change Management and in 2000 changed career to support companies within the small business sector.

Following a sabbatical from 2004 to 2008, when he completed a Bachelor of Theology Degree in Sydney, Australia, David returned to the UK where he joined The Trussell Trust in Salisbury as Operations Director and then Chief Executive, growing the charity into the UK’s largest award-winning foodbank and anti-poverty charity.

In 2016, the charity won the Civil Society Charity of the Year Award, recognising the practical work carried out by foodbank volunteers across the UK and the campaigning for changes to Universal Credit. Since 2017, David has been the Chief Executive of a supported housing and life skills charity and the Chief Executive for a disabled children's charity.

BDS CEO David McAuley

15 October 2020

The Country Food Trust starts working with Venison to Feed Children in Need

Ahead of World Food Day tomorrow, Friday 16th October, we are delighted to share news from our friends at The Country Food Trust who have announced they are now working with venison to feed children in need. It is my pleasure to share further details below, to include a first look at their plans for their 2020 Winter Appeal.

The Country Food Trust was set up in 2015 with the aim of helping provide delicious meals to people in food poverty. In August this year they reached the milestone of donating over 1.5 million meals since inception. Whilst much of this has been with their renowned pheasant curry and pheasant casserole they have also, during COVID19, donated meat that would usually have been destined for restaurants, such as duck, chicken and turkey to the near 2,000 charities they are helping.  

The charity distributed over 62,000 meals using British venison during the summer. They have since been exploring the increased use of venison and working with The British Wild Venison Working Group. The group has been facilitated by The Forestry Commission and established in response to the recent decline in the wholesale market, to develop novel and new markets for British Wild Venison, and see how best to work with this delicious and versatile meat. Alongside geese, rabbits and pigeon, deer are an incidental source of protein, making venison an incredibly healthy meat, with approximately 25% less calories and only 50% of the fat content seen in other red meats.

venison bolognese