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Wild deer prove a nuisance

PUBLISHED: 14:45 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:04 03 July 2010

Rising deer populations are causing problems for motorists and farmers with controlled culling already underway in some problem- plagued areas.

Farmer Richard Hirst said he was keeping a close eye on booming numbers which threatened crops and young trees but had no natural predators themselves.

Rising deer populations are causing problems for motorists and farmers with controlled culling already underway in some problem- plagued areas.

Farmer Richard Hirst said he was keeping a close eye on booming numbers which threatened crops and young trees but had no natural predators themselves.

Deer numbers on the Norfolk/Suffolk borders are said to exceed 12,000 and although numbers in Mr Hirst's Ormesby area were increasing they had not caused big crop losses yet, he said.

However, the Hickling area was under siege by wild deer and Mr Hirst understood some culling had taken place.

He said: “There are a lot more deer about than there used to be. If you saw one 15 years ago it would be quite something. In Ormesby it is not too bad but if you go up to Hickling there is a serious problem with Roe deer and red deer that do cause a lot of crop damage. They do manage culling up there to keep the numbers under control. They are quite damaging to crops and young trees.”

Mr Hirst added that the boom in numbers helped to silence critics who maintained farmers were harming the countryside.

Anecdotal evidence pointed to an increase in the number of deer posing a danger to motorists - born out by the amount of carcasses lining the roadsides.

People have been reporting more “near-misses” and drivers are advised to be wary, particularly when driving at night.

This week conservationists and landowners poured cold water on a suggestion that big cats like the lynx could be introduced to control populations.

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