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Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 25 March 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what result they expect from recent measures to reduce the densities of wild deer roaming in sensitive areas. [HL2179]

At increased populations, deer can impact negatively on woodland sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) and can affect structure and natural processes, regeneration potential and quality indicators, leading to these SSSIs going into unfavourable condition.

As a result of deer control in these sensitive areas we would expect to see a reduction in these negative impacts and a reduction in the number of woodland SSSIs in unfavourable condition due to deer.

In England in 2004, 8,146 hectares of woodland SSSI were in unfavourable condition because of the impacts of deer. The Deer Initiative, a broad partnership of statutory, voluntary and private interests which works to foster the sustainable management of deer in England and Wales, was asked to focus on certain priority areas. By 2007, the figure of 8,146 hectares had been reduced to 3,907 hectares being in unfavourable condition because of deer impacts.