Steel Landscaping Co. offer their suggestions on managing deer populations on your land as we get into rutting season.
Renowned fencing and steel product experts Steel Landscaping Co. have utilised their vast experience to offer advice to land and estate owners on how to manage deers on their land in time for the rutting season.
“There are six deer species in the UK, all of which are absolutely wonderful to see,” says Steel Landscaping Co’s Operations Director Grace Powell, “but they can be a real nuisance due to their considerable appetite, which can be a problem for vegetable patches, woodlands and developing saplings.”
The UK has no natural predators for deer populations, which are now at their highest number for more than 1,000 years. “Deer can affect the diversity of tree populations, resulting in a fall in numbers of species, and strip bark off older trees, which kills them,” says Paul Wilkinson of the Wildlife Trusts.
Traditionally, deers would only be found in areas rich with vegetation, such as woodlands or other areas where they could flee from predatation. However, habitat and predator loss has seen deer become bolder in their search for food and mating opportunities – this is particularly the case with larger estates with more diverse landscapes, and during rutting season where males search for mates.
Deer go about their business during dawn and dusk, but there are a few signs you could watch out for if you suspect deers are roaming your estate. “You might notice foliage stripped from plants, damage to tree bark, or something eating your fruits and vegetables.” Says Grace.
While there is not much you can do to control the deer themselves, there are a few measures you can undertake across your estate to protect certain areas of your grounds, such as flower beds, newly planted trees, and vegetable gardens:
Plant deer resistant plants – deers are anything but fussy, but are thought to dislike rhubarb, mint and magnolia.
Hedging – strong and robust mature hedging can be purchased and once planted to prevent deers from pushing through and also create a habitat for insects, birds and small mammals.
Deer fencing – deer fencing is designed to prevent deers from squeezing through the gaps or simply leaping over.
Protecting saplings – tree guards can protect the delicate bark and branches from the impacts of feeding deers and males marking their territory.
“There are also several repellent methods that you might be able to try, but these are generally short-term options as the deer grow accustomed to them and will return again sooner or later,” says Grace.