Deer oh deer
IT is estimated that there are 74,000 vehicle accidents involving deer each year, in which 10 to 20 people are killed and more than 700 injured. Collisions peak now in May— a quarter of all accidents happen this month—as well as in October and November. Most accidents take place between sunset and midnight and again at sunrise.
The deer population has doubled to more than two million in the past two decades and the number of collisions is likely to continue to increase. This explosion in deer numbers—there are more in Britain than at any time since the last Ice Age—has also resulted in severe damage to important woodlands, affecting both biodiversity and regeneration. Muntjac, possibly our most numerous deer, are devastating our native bluebells. Some birds, such as the nightingale and blackcap, have seen their numbers fall sharply as a direct result.
The harsh fact is that a major cull is required. It has been estimated that a reduction of 50% of the population is necessary to protect the countryside. I can’t see how this is going to happen without government intervention, but, without it, there are going to be a lot more car crashes and a lot less countryside. MH