Deer Management

Wild deer are a part of our biodiversity. They provide pleasure for visitors to the countryside and are a source of healthy meat. But in the absence of predators and due to increased woodland cover, deer have increased to unsustainable densities in some areas.

At moderate to high densities, wild deer can have negative impacts on the natural environment as well as wider impacts on forestry and have negative effects on agriculture. Deer can simplify woodland structure by:

  • preferentially browsing seedlings or regrowth of certain palatable tree and plant species
  • impacting upon diversity
  • impacting resilience of woodlands to factors such as climate change, as heavily impacted woodlands are less able to sequester carbon or intercept water flow, and processes such as natural colonisation can be prevented

Significant effort is required by those responsible for creating and managing woodlands to manage deer across the country. There is a need to develop stronger mechanisms to build increased capacity and focus on reducing current and future impacts, and collaboration is required at a national, landscape and local level to achieve this.

Additional read:

Deer: how to protect your property from damage
Woodland creation and mitigating the impacts of deer
BASC – Deer Stalking Code of Practice

Fox Control

The fox is sometimes referred to as vermin, but it is not, and never has been categorised as such by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Foxes are considered mammals in UK.
Any foxes, moles and mink that you catch are protected under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. You can be jailed and fined up to £20,000 for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
You can’t use the following for foxes, moles or mink:

  • self-locking snares
  • bows and crossbows
  • explosives other than legal ammunition for a licensed firearm
  • live birds or animals, as bait or live decoys

Failure to do so could mean you face a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of up to £5,000.

Additional read:
Hunting and Shooting Wildlife
BASC – Night Shooting Code of Practice


Given the problems associated with rabbits, the increase in numbers is likely to be accompanied by a corresponding rise in the amount of serious crop damage reported. It is essential, therefore, that effective control strategies are available to ensure that crops vulnerable to rabbit damage are adequately protected. This will serve to benefit landowners and occupiers who have a statutory responsibility to manage rabbit infestations on their land and to prevent them causing damage to neighbouring properties.
Some damages by Rabbits are to, Cereals, Grassland, other crops and trees.

Control Methods: 
Shooting is a popular method of rabbit control and is most effective when conducted at night, using a spotlight.
The Ground Game Act 1880 gives an occupier the right to shoot rabbits on his land during the day and to authorise in writing one other person to do so. The person must be a member of the occupier’s household or staff or be employed for reward. Under the Pests Act 1954, an occupier may apply to Natural England for authority to use a reasonable number of extra guns, if the owner of the shooting rights will neither permit the occupier to bring on extra guns, nor undertake to destroy the rabbits himself, and it is necessary to use more guns than the occupier has the right to authorise.
Under the Ground Game Act 1880 as amended by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the following are allowed to shoot at night:
• An owner-occupier with shooting rights.
• A landlord who has reserved his shooting rights.
• A shooting tenant not in occupation who has derived his shooting rights from the owner.
• An occupier or one other person authorised by him provided he has written authority from another person with shooting rights.
The Firearms Act 1968 requires any person possessing, purchasing or acquiring a shotgun to obtain a firearms certificate from the police.

*We only offer the above mehtod (Shooting), not the methods below.

Other control methods used are: 
Gassing, Fencing (Wire-netting or Electric fences), Baited cage trapping, Drop box trapping, Spring Trapping, Snaring, Ferreting
Also, some damage reduction methods could be considered such as Tree-Guards or Repellents

Additional Reads:
Rabbits: how to control numbers