It had long been hoped that one day the Kesteven Deer Society (KDS) could be resurrected as a forum for landowners and deer managers to meet and discuss management issues. The LDG where fortunate to have been given the records including the cull records kept by the Kesteven Deer Society (KDS) and entrusted to the group for safekeeping. This has allowed us to compile them into a historical record and create a picture of Fallow management patterns between 1975 and 1992. The KDS had faded away by 1992 so there had been a gap of 14 years before the first meeting of the SLDMU in the Spring of 2006. The inaugural meeting was convened and attended by a core of landowner members from the area within the vaguely drawn A1- A52- A15-A6121 boundary of the SLDMU`s activity. A plan is available to download below.
It is acknowledged my many that there is a need to share and disseminate deer management information and for neighbours to work together to mutual benefit. Fallow deer range widely and as a result are the most difficult species to manage effectively. It is widely acknowledged that only a coordinated approach can be truly effective particularly over a sustained period of time.
The results of a night-time survey collated over four nights in March 2006 formed the basis of discussions and provided the funding could be found, an annual population survey will take place over the area. This will enable the SLDMU to build a picture of the deer populations over time and to form a basis for discussion and an aid to making informed decisions on the individual estates annual deer management as part of the “landscape scale” management of the wild deer population.
The implications of the New Meat Hygiene regulations are potentially a significant barrier to maintaining a sustainable cull, particularly given the income currently achievable from venison sales. Estates face very significant investment in their own facilities so the SLDMU hopes to facilitate discussion between landowners with a view to sharing facilities wherever possible to dissipate the costs of the larder and to enable smaller estates and individuals to use facilities which would allow compliance with the regulations.
The Lincolnshire Deer Group will administer the SLDMU and chair the meetings under its remit, convene at least one annual meeting in April, the main function of which will be to gather cull data and discuss and analyse the results of the night time survey. Participation by all LDG members within the boundary is welcomed. If you are not a landowner or deer manager within the boundary and not currently involved then please contact our secretary