Defra are seeking views on key proposals for a deer management strategy developed by the Forestry Commission and Defra.

We need to do more to manage deer populations to protect new and existing woodland, support successful tree establishment rates, reduce damage to agricultural crops, and improve biodiversity. As set out within the England Trees Action Plan, we recognise that a growing deer population is putting more browsing pressure on woodland ground flora, damaging trees, and inhibiting regeneration of new and existing woodlands.

The development of the deer management strategy proposals have been guided by broad consensus across stakeholder audiences from the England Tree Strategy Consultation in 2020.  All agreed that long-term sustainable solutions are required to ensure that an action plan for trees, woodland and forestry is successful in its aims.

This consultation on the proposed deer management strategy will gather views on key proposals being considered. These include reviewing the evidence base, current barriers to effective management, relevant legislation, regulation and incentives, as well as developing sector capacity, skills and markets. These views will help shape the final actions that are included in the deer management strategy.

The four-week Defra consultation on the deer management strategy is now open. Defra and the Forestry Commission welcome your views. The consultation closes at 23:45 on 2 September 2022 and we will issue a response in due course. Please visit the GOV.UK consultation page: Deer management strategy page to respond.

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