Monday, September 25, 2006

UK NEWS: Deer Collisions Rise Near Ancient Hunting Reserve

Rising numbers of crashes between deer and vehicles in the Ashdown Forest are set to worsen when the clocks change.

Forest rangers attended 100 crashes in 2000, compared with 215 in 2005, and a group has now been set up to reduce crashes and manage the deer.

Deer travel at dusk which will coincide with rush hour when the clocks change next month, Dr Hew Prendergast said.

The area of heath and woodland on the Kent and Sussex border was established 900 years ago for deer hunting.

Dr Prendergast said the A22 near Forest Row was the worst stretch of road in Britain for deer and vehicle collisions.

The Ashdown Forest now has several thousand Fallow Deer, about 50 Roe Deer, large numbers of Muntjac and a small herd of Sika.

Their growing numbers together with increasing volumes of traffic are thought to have led to a rapid rise in crashes.

The Ashdown Area Deer Group includes East Sussex County Council, the Conservators of Ashdown Forest, the Deer Initiative, the RSPCA, the British Deer Society, the Ministry of Defence and local landowners.

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