Deer Protection

gates gates at
Tue Feb 4 19:17:58 EST 1997

In article <32F4C386.47F9 at>, gareth browning
<aforester at> writes
>I am a forester in North Cumbria, England managing amongst other things
>a number of ancient semi-natural Sessile Oak woods. One of the main aims
>is to encourage regeneration within gaps in the canopy. We have a
>resisdent population of Roe deer and whilst we have an annual cull
>(circa 100 over 7000ha) other protection is still necessary. 
>Following instruction from an older/wiser forester I have erected a
>number of small 20m square stock fence exclosures over the past four
>years. The theory goes that if the deer can see all the sides of the
>exclosure they will walk around it rather than jump in and potentially
>get trapped. The advantage of this over deer fence is two fold, its
>cheeper and in high recreation areas less obtrusive.
>It certainly seems to work. What I am interested in is if anyone has any
>similar experiences and more interestingly whether there is any
>documented evidence/ research.
Hi, I'm leaving your text whole as it isn't long and may help another.

There were always three methods of filling canopy:  Planting, moving
thinnings and moving bigger trees.  At the least, thinnings that would
get choked elsewhere, make a useful foil for deer anxious to exercise
their curiosity.  ie thinnings border an area of better moved saplings
(say standard size) and new planting (say whips and 50p plantlets in
mixed out-of-geometric formation).  The surround could be hurdles joined
by thongs and this could be say 90 feet long making a 30' circle, square
etc.  The thinnings and hurdle height allow light in from the side which
is also important.  The most esoteric aspect, however, is to tell deer
and the whole world, once done, that this is a nursery area and not to
be entered under any circumstances.  Bundles of poles are left outside
for habitat while bracken is removed before it gets too old.  Ditto tree
seedlings you don't want.  These can be replanted outside the barrier
though unless weeds like Sycamore down South here.  Years after I heard
about this two things were heard in close succession.  A Blenheim estate
keeper told me I was lucky to see a hare suckling a sheep and we chatted
further.  He had heard the fence method and telling everything to keep
away which I thought a bit of a tale but we got onto weasel weddings &
funerals and lost the thread a bit.  Then I saw about the Findhorn crop
planting method for the first time.  It's in a book now.  They plant 3
rows and tell pests which one is for them.  They get nearly all one row
and much more of the 2nd than expected but lose lots of the third row.
Pseudo sci freaks might say the shouting imbues the area with some vibe
while the seriously vague might consider the insects largely do as they
are told.  Anyway, it works.  

I respectfully suggest you try to get secondary canopy on way before
culling or logging areas to avoid holes winds can enter while wedging
wood profiles with other species maybe to crop.  Pannaging, if you can
arrange it, can help the wood but you need some pig breeding friends.  A
visit pre-pannaging, when antlers are being rubbed, can also provide the
pigs with some food and exercise while the poo keeps deer away.
Needless to say this needs to be in the area outside the fence or pigs
will root up seedlings.  A useful by product could be identification of
prize truffle hunters for your table's purposes.  You can also spore
inside the fence with, say, chantrelle and sell to the local
restaurants.  As with fairy rings the fungus itself is in the earth and
each area can get used up.  Turning deep mould over and sprinkling more
on top can help lengthen the period mycellum will grow though and of
course, if the mycellum grows, so should the fruiting body.   Sorry if
these teaches granny to suck eggs but you never know who's reading this.

Getting back to the point I also recommend you use the system witches
used to use for avoiding disturbance of their circles by animals.  The
men stand at the edge of the circle facing outwards and urinate in a
wider circle while the women douse the fire (once the flames are gone to
avoid spitting).  ie the ammonia puts animals off.  You may wish to make
your own ammonia mix but be careful as a whiff of household cleaner
(relatively weak) can ruin a nose for ages.  I think I would also beware
of straddling deer trails and shout at them when they are actually

Live long and prosper & tell the trees they have many children.


Les, Tree Wizard of The White Brethren.

Les Ballard         Les at

c/o BM: Gates of Annwn       (The Pagan contact magazine)
London WC1N 3XX,  U.K.       44+(0)1708 670431

No copyright statement is attached as the author is litigious.

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