The Deer Initiative Partnership, was established in 1995 to promote the sustainable management of wild deer in England, and was extended to Wales in 1999. We are a broad partnership of statutory, voluntary and private organisations with a shared vision for the sustainable management of wild deer.
The six deer species of deer (four are introduced) living wild in the UK are increasing in distribution and number. To manage deer sustainably, we face certain challenges:
- Deer often have specific impacts on vulnerable habitat as well as agriculture and forestry, tree planting schemes and green spaces
- Deer tend to range over large areas (beyond site boundaries) and need to be managed on a landscape scale, with collaboration between landowners
- Deer are among the largest wild mammals in the UK, and collisions with vehicles are serious and costly (annually up to 74,000 collisions with 10-20 human fatalities and up to 700 human injuries)
- Control of zoonoses and livestock diseases requires monitoring and surveillance in deer
- We need specific standards and skills to ensure safe, effective, humane management of deer - including in the urban environment
The Deer Initiative is working with a wide range of stakeholders to tackle all of these challenges, and we are helping our Partners in Government to develop the right framework to support this. For more on our activities, please see the What we do section of our website.
Our Government funders include Defra, the Forestry Commission (England and Wales), Natural England, the Countryside Council for Wales. We also get significant support from the private and voluntary sectors via our Partners and other stakeholders. About half of our resources come in the form of in-kind support (i.e. non-cash contributions).