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News archive

07 March 2020

Call for More Volunteers - BDS Survey of Deer Abundance

We have received a great response to this year's new survey of deer abundance, however, we still need more volunteers. As previously reported, this will be our most comprehensive deer survey ever taken and to ensure success we need as many people as possible to get involved!

All that we ask is that you record your visits to a survey area within an allocated 1km square during March/April and August/September making a note of deer signs that you find.  More details can be found here

If you are able to volunteer and assist with this exciting and ambitious project please email Charles Smith-Jones at or contact HQ BDS, giving your name, contact details and postcode plus if you are a member please include your membership number.  We aim to make survey locations as convenient as possible to your home. However, if you would prefer to survey somewhere else that you visit frequently, please let us know.

06 March 2020

BDS Spring Courses

Many of our Spring 2020 courses are now fully booked, but we still have a few places available on the following upcoming courses.

DSC1 Courses

May 2020
Falkirk, Stirlingshire - 16-18 May 2020
Shrewsbury, Shropshire - 23-25 May 2020

05 March 2020

Keep Sending in Your Sightings

While not everyone may be able to assist with our deer abundance survey there is one easy way we can all get involved in building up a better picture of deer distribution in the UK, by using the BDS deer app to regularly report deer sightings.

The app is easy to use and allows you to quickly tag a sighting using a smartphone. The sightings help us to collate data of not only live sightings but also road traffic collisions, deer heard but not seen, harvesting and other non-specific deer deaths. 

Not 100% sure of the deer species? No problem! The app can help with simple deer id tools plus you can always send us a photo with your sighting for our experts to identify.

BDS deer app

05 February 2020

BDS Survey of Deer Distribution & Abundance

Every five years the BDS conducts a survey of deer distribution across the United Kingdom.  The results provide data which is invaluable to national and regional policy makers, researchers, land managers and many others, and, over the years, the resulting maps have built up an essential picture of the fortunes of deer in this country.   

This year will mark our most comprehensive survey yet as we will not just be recording deer presence but also looking to establish actual densities.  To ensure success we need your help.  All that we ask is that you visit a survey area within an allocated 1km square during March/April and August/September and record the deer signs that you find.  pdf More details can be found here (133 KB) .


31 January 2020

Deer Working Group Report

The management of wild deer in Scotland: Deer Working Group report

The Group was appointed as an independent working group to review the existing statutory and non-statutory arrangements for the management of wild deer in Scotland, taking account of the position with each of the four species of wild deer in Scotland and the varying circumstances across Scotland. 

This report is the result of the Group’s review and contains a wide range of recommendations to fulfil the Group’s remit to make “recommendations for changes to ensure effective deer management that safeguards public interests and promotes the sustainable management of wild deer”.

The management of wild deer in Scotland: Deer Working Group report

24 January 2020

Deer Management in Scotland

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published reports on assessing progress in deer management in Scotland, which has been prepared for the Scottish Government.

Below are links to the main report and three associated research reports:
Assessing Progress in Deer Management - SNH report to the Scottish Government -

  1. SNH Research Report 1149 - Updating the estimates of national trends and regional differences in red deer densities on the open-hill ground in Scotland -
  2. SNH Research Report 1158 - Deer-Vehicle Collision (DVC) data collection and analysis 2016 – 2018 -
  3. SNH Research Report 1188 - Lowland deer management - assessing the delivery of public interests - phase 2 -

 Assessing Progress in Deer Management - SNH report to Scottish Government

22 January 2020

Deer Winter 2019/20 Edition - Out Now

The latest edition of Deer, The Journal of The British Deer Society is out now.

Features include:

  • Deer Distribution and Abundance
  • News from the BDS
  • Genetic Diversity in Water Deer
  • Investigating Roe Range
  • Deer Tracks and Signs
  • and more...


16 January 2020

Muntjac Symposium - Initiating Collaborative Working

The one-day muntjac symposium organised by the British Deer Society working in partnership with The Woodland Trust and sponsored by Galbraith was a resounding success.

The event was well supported with multi-agency attendance including BDS, BASC, Woodland Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Natural History Society of Northumbria, etc, as well as Scottish Natural Heritage and the UK Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Over 70 people took part and BDS Deer Officer, Glyn Ingram, commented that it was good to see representatives from important partner organisations, and private individuals enthusiastically engaging with each other.

Muntjac Symposium