Small Woodland Owners' Group

deterring deer

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Re: deterring deer

Postby oldclaypaws » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:09 pm

I'd be surprised if you could mark out either a neat square or circle. Hazels tend to sprout where they want, not in precise geometric alignments. The area enclosed will be approximately rhomboid, circle , polyhendron, amphibious landing craft, or whatever; but its the random position of the Hazels and other trees which will determine the parameters, and it wont be a regular shape.
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Re: deterring deer

Postby smojo » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:17 am

Well here's my woodland situation and plans so far regarding coppice and deer. They do keep changing and evolving though. There are two different requirements. I have a sub compartment of semi mature mixed broadleaf which is the oldest and most interesting area. I want to treat this with a conservation approach. There are a number of derelict hazel stools ready to restore. At this point I am uncertain as to how much I can achieve without destroying the semi-wild aspect but at the same time bringing back some coppice cycle. This area is mainly across the South limit of my plot which is bounded by a hard track ride. Adjacent to that running up the western edge where another ride exists, is the area that has been depleted of ground cover and shrub layer due to it being used for rearing pheasants and now browsed by deer. It has only a dozen or so smallish sycamore inside the earea and a few large ones along it's edge. They do however cast a lot of shade. By felling the few trees and maybe thinning the large ones, it should provide a nice light and fairly clear area for replanting with new coppiceable plants such as hazel and sweet chestnut and maybe some hawthorn and low shrubby species along the edge. I am limited by time and manpower so need to deal with it in smallish chunks. As well as the "pheasant area" being overshadowed and short of trees, deer are browsing off any new growth of saplings and herby ground cover plants.

So I will have an L shaped area to protect. One leg of it being the existing coppice area and the other the new depleted area. So my plan is to fell the few sycamore and fence it off ASAP to see what new growth is going to emerge next spring and keep the deer from destroying it. Then lightly thin the south/west corner of the old coppice area (more small sycamore which can be dispensed with to increase light levels as there are larger more interesting standards like oak and ash which I don't want to lose) This way I can take advantage of the lighter area of the woods provided by the two adjacent rides. So I reckon a couple of 100m rolls making an L shape across the corner will provide quite a good amount of protection. Then after a couple of years, the mesh can be moved to cover another small area in the old coppice section adjacent to the piece I will have done first.

I'm also wondering about trying to encourage the felled small sycamore to throw new shoots as future coppice for firewood etc, so again fencing it off after felling will give it a head start from the deer.
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Re: deterring deer

Postby jennysmate » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:37 am

The link below gives a very good argument for re-introducing wolves back. Not only to reduce the deer population, but by trophic cascade, bringing lots of other benefits to our wild places. ... se-wolves/
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Re: deterring deer

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:14 pm

I think you'll find the wolves also took out a few ranch horses and other livestock. It simply wouldn't work in the UK, we are too crowded and heavily farmed. If DEFRA wanted to thin the deer population they should consider marketing venison with subsidies or a bounty to landowners / licensed marksmen. We are the most suitable predators.
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