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News archive

23 August 2019

New App Tracking Ticks To Help Prevent Lyme Disease

An app to track ticks and prevent Lyme disease has been launched in the Highlands, with funding from the European and UK space agencies.

The £1.1 million project will allow members of the public to report tick sightings and bites and help scientists monitor cases of Lyme disease.

new tick app
Developed by International Disease Mapping Apps, a new company formed by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), LymeApp uses satellite data to highlight where the disease has been detected across the northern hemisphere.

Data will be monitored by the Scottish Lyme Disease and Tick-borne Infections Reference Laboratory in Inverness, where developers hope to use the information to stop the spread of the infection.

22 August 2019

Public Urged To Stay Safe When Watching Deer

BDS has been briefing BBC journalists about the dangers of getting too close to park deer.

Despite repeated warnings, some members of the public are continuing to get dangerously close to deer. Which the BBC highlighted in their article "Wollaton Park deer selfie warning ignored by visitors".

With the Autumn rut season just around the corner, BDS wanted to urge the public to stay safe when watching deer. 

Deer are wild animals and park deer are no exception. They may be used to humans and will tolerate our presence, but don't be tempted to get too close in search of a photo or a special encounter.

Please keep your distance!

Public Urged To Stay Safe When Watching Deer

06 August 2019

BDS Launches New Deer App 

BDS Trustee Director Professor Simon Gibson launched its new deer app on Friday 26th July at The Game Fair 2019.

The official BDS app has been designed for anyone with an interest in UK deer. Key features include information on our deer species, advice related to deer, ability to record a deer sighting and contribute to our survey work, weather, sunrise and sunset times, recipes, useful contacts and more.

Whether you are new to deer or a seasoned deer enthusiast this is the perfect app for you.

Download the app today:
Play Store link:

Apple App Store link:

06 August 2019

New Research Findings – Ticks

BDS members across mainland Britain provided ticks and deer blood samples during 2018  to assist with research project work carried out for Public Health England (PHE), Porton Down.

Researcher Maya Holding adds:

"Thank you very much for BDS’s support and promotion of the study,  it really helped us in recruiting volunteers from across the country. We are planning a follow-up study in the near future and will provide further details in the near future."

Public Health England (PHE)
This week the PHE Communications office reported:

Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), which is endemic in many European countries, has been found for the first time in a very small number of ticks in Thetford Forest. These are early research findings and indicate the need for more work, however, the risk to the general public is currently assessed to be very low.

04 August 2019

Jim Taylor Page Trophy Presentation at Moy

A packed BDS stand at The Highland Fieldsports Fair, Moy saw BDS Chairman Professor Rory Putman present the Jim Taylor Page Trophy to Ian Davidson with Highland Branch Chairman and TD Al Monkman overseeing events.

BDS Chairman Professor Rory Putman present the Jim Taylor Page Trophy to Ian Davidson
BDS Chairman Professor Rory Putman present the Jim Taylor Page Trophy to Ian Davidson 

Ian works extremely hard for Highlands Branch and is noted as one of their most willing regular volunteers.

The Jim Taylor Page Trophy is awarded annually to a BDS branch member nominated by their peers for their outstanding contribution to the branch.

03 August 2019

Balfour-Browne Trophy Awarded at The New Forest Show

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity) presented the magnificent Balfour Browne Trophy to BDS member Stan Kemish at the New Forest Show. 

Stan whose first introduction to BDS was at the Society’s Woburn inauguration in 1963, served on Wessex branch committee for over 50 years, latterly as its President.

The New Forest Show made the perfect venue for the award as Stan remembers setting up BDS’s first exhibit at a much earlier show held some forty years ago. 

Lord Gardiner of Kimble presenting the Balfour Browne Trophy to BDS member Stan Kemish at the New Forest Show
Lord Gardiner of Kimble presenting the Balfour Browne Trophy to BDS member Stan Kemish at the New Forest Show

01 August 2019

Deer, Ticks and Lyme Disease

While deer are certainly among the many species of animals and birds, which can act as hosts to, ticks, it might be a mistake to assume that they carry a notable responsibility for encouraging high numbers of them. 

Although there is some evidence that, where deer and other large herbivores such as sheep are absent, the numbers of ticks present in the environment may be reduced, scientific opinion remains uncertain as to whether, once deer and sheep are present, actual numbers have any real effect on overall tick burdens.

be tick aware
Current research on the spread of Lyme disease suggests that deer may only play a very small part, and that it is likely that some species of birds are far more significant carriers of the infective organism.

12 July 2019

Deer Initiative Ltd (DI Ltd) to Cease Operating

Announcement on behalf of The Deer Initiative for England and Wales. 12th July 2019.

After 24 years, Deer Initiative Ltd (DI Ltd), the executive arm of the Deer Initiative Partnership (DIP) is to cease operating at the end of the current financial year 31st March 2020.

The DI was established in 1995 to deliver the objectives of the DIP in the form of advice and guidance and to advocate the sustainable management of wild deer. The organisation has worked with a range of partners across government, academia and the private sector to develop a broader understanding of the need for well-evidenced, effective and humane deer management.

Deer Initiative