The Millden and neighbouring estates have announced plans to erect an electrified deer fence, running from Glen Dye right across to Glen Mark. The idea is to exclude deer and manage the estates for optimal grouse returns, as, apparently, deer and grouse don't mix,. It is true that deer carry ticks and ticks affect grouse chicks adversely. This is, of course, the same logic that is driving the current "shoot anything that moves" policy in the area and decimating the local hare population.

It appears that the fence will be waist high, electrified and with a "guard strand" a few paces back to prevent the deer from jumping the fence. Some sections, such as where it crosses the Fungle and Firmouth paths will be traditional high deer fence. There will be gates and stiles on all rights of way and other popular tracks. As the fence is low, it does not require planning permission. (Does this mean that the high bits do require planning permission?)

There is a positive aspect. The intention to manage the estate for optimal grouse returns, is leading to increased local employment. More keepers and associated supporting roles will be needed

The NEMT supports efforts to reduce the deer population but this fence seems misplaced.

The NEMT would prefer to see a sustained programme of increased culling to reduce the deer numbers without erecting a fence. However, there appears to be little that we can do.

STOP PRESS: Fence now under construction!

David Windle

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