LETTER: Steps needed to protect deer

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I am writing in response to Villager Jim’s quite right concerns for our red deer population on Big Moor. 
Like Jim, I am a Derbyshire Peak District appreciator, as such in my retirement years I am there or thereabouts most days of the week. How sick is it that self opinionated individuals take it upon themselves to play God?

The animals and the area in question are part of our national park. My wife and myself travel by way of the Baslow to Owler bar and travel along the B6054 with Totley Moor on our right, where for ten months of the year, when I look left at the empty, barren waste which is Big Moor, it is crying out for fir plantings with Himalayan broad leafs and rowan for warm cover to encourage birds and mammals which these bleak barren wastes don’t have. We need much more diversity on these near barren places, not less. In all the years I have travelled this area, even having worked on the North Sea gas pipeline which cut through this Big Moor several years ago, I never at any time saw a deer of either the roe, fallow or red variety.

I suspect some hidden agenda here, because even if there were several hundred more deer on this moor it would not be over populated. Sadly, unlike our southern national parks which are managed by wardens and rangers, we on our Derbyshire National Park and our other more northerly national parks allow our wildlife to be commercially destroyed in the name of sport.

These commercial wildlife persecutors employ gamekeepers in place of the non-gun carrying park wardens. Shamefully, as such, our Derbyshire Peak District is top of the league for the persecution of (protected?) birds of prey, especially on the peoples’ moorland, and it doesn’t take a rocket science genius to know who the guilty offenders are. 
We should be looking to increase all wildlife on such desolate places as Big Moor not less. There are not too many deer. More deer does not necessarily mean that there will be more disease, it is a fallacy in my view.

We have to realise that the herd is not en masse, they form several groups, especially in the rut. Mother Nature and self regulation is the right and proper way. Please get some tree planting done because if the winter turns for the worse, like 1947 and 1963, this could possibly decimate the herd or herds drastically.

Arthur Southey

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