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Deer: New Forest

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of deer in the New Forest National Park; and whether it is the policy of the National Park Authority to impose restrictions on the deer population. (227960)

There is no overall estimate of the deer numbers in the New Forest National Park and the authority has no policy for the management of deer numbers in the park. However, the Forestry Commission is responsible for the management of 47 per cent. of the park area and carries out an annual visual census of deer on its land. These records date back to 1960 and the figures for 2008 are

Fallow: 1,422;

Roe: 437;

Red: 117; and

Sika: 93.

These visual census figures will underestimate the total number of deer in the area and a corrected figure is used when the Forestry Commission sets its annual cull level in accordance with its deer management plan.