First, my personal thanks for all those who agreed to help with this survey, which is designed to offer us a better resolution of the distribution and regional abundance of deer within the UK, something we urgently need if we are to advise Government and other Agencies on future management.
Although we had hoped that volunteers would undertake their initial field surveys this spring, response to the recent outbreak of Coronavirus and Government guidance suggests that we must postpone this, because of restrictions on movement and non-essential travel.
We hope that circumstances will allow us to start the survey instead, with the autumn walks proposed and roll spring surveys through to the spring of next year 2021.
If you have volunteered to help with the survey, please keep in touch with our technical adviser Charles Smith-Jones and we will hope to contact you again in late summer. In the meantime stay safe at this challenging time
Rory Putman, Chairman, British Deer Society
There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether deerstalking is an acceptable activity in the current situation. The government has given clear instructions that people must stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel.
It is the opinion of the BDS that recreational stalking, and its associated travel implications, are not essential and should therefore not take place at the current time.
Professional Stalkers should seek the advice of their employers, line managers or landowners.
We are aware that a number of organisations including SNH, FE and FLS have ceased all culling operations as of today.
The situation remains under constant review and further guidance will be given as appropriate.
To review the latest recommendations and restrictions issued by the UK Government regarding Coronavirus/Covid-19 visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
It was impossible just a few weeks ago to have imagined the extraordinary times we are now in. As a charity and as a company, we are taking each day as it comes whilst also making the best decisions we can to prioritise the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, public and our business.
Fordingbridge staff will be working primarily from home with minimal office presence only for essential tasks. We have cancelled all BDS training courses until the end of July and are offering all booked candidates the opportunity to be transferred to events later this year.
Although we have not yet taken the initiative of withdrawing from Shows, it seems likely that most such events during the coming year, whether national or local, will be cancelled in the light of unfolding government advice. We will, therefore, take the opportunity to review all commitments and be better focused and resourced for the future.
All Society social events, national and local, have been cancelled until further notice, please keep watching the website or email your local branch chairman with any queries.