Deer welfare

It's thought there are more than two million deer living in the UK. There are six species; red and roe deer are native to the UK, whereas fallow, Chinese water deer, muntjac and sika deer are all non-native and were introduced. 

Deer play an important part in woodland ecosystems, but in some areas they're thought to be a threat to biodiversity through over-browsing. Deer numbers appear to be increasing due to increasing woodland cover, agricultural changes and milder winters. Here's more on deer and how you can help.

Concerned about a deer?

Find out what to do with an injured or sick deer or if you are concerned about a lone baby deer.

Find out more about how we care for injured deer in our rehabilitation and wildlife centre pages.

Avoiding collisions - deer in the road

Sadly, more than 74,000 deer are involved in collisions with vehicles each year. 

If you've been involved in an accident with a deer and aren't sure what to do, call us on 0300 1234 999.

Our deer collision fact sheet gives you more information and tips on how to avoid collisions.

You can find out more by visiting the National Deer-Vehicle Collisions Project.

Deer management 

Deer can range over wide areas so land managers need to cooperate with their neighbours and local deer management groups.

We partner in the Deer Initiative, which works towards having a sustainable and well-managed wild deer population in England and Wales.

How can I deter deer from my land?

Although many people enjoy having an opportunity to see deer close by, others may not welcome deer on their land, as they can cause damage to plants, flowers, trees and shrubs.

Browsing can help maintain plant diversity in woodlands, but over-browsing can have a negative effect. In some areas, deer have eaten woodland bushes and shrubs (known as the understory), resulting in a loss of cover for nesting birds.

The British Deer Society has advice about deterring deer from lowland gardens; you can also get advice at Natural England.

Is it legal to shoot deer?

Visit the Deer Initiative website for a summary of wild deer legislation.

Follow the links below to find out more about how to help wildlife in the UK.

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