The Deer Initiative
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About us

The staff

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Alastair Boston

Northern England Deer Liaison Officer

Before coming to work for The Deer Initiative, Alastair worked for the Lake District National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission in forestry and deer management. Alastair also ran the Cumbria Deer Project with funding support from Cumbria Woodlands.


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Alastair Ward

Operations and Research Director 

Alastair joined the Deer Initiative in September 2016 on secondment from the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA), where he has worked since 2003, most recently as the head of the Wildlife Research and Control Group. Prior to working for the Government he was employed as the British Deer Society’s Conservation and Information Officer. He was awarded a BSc degree in Zoology by the University of Glasgow, MRes degree in Ecology and Environmental Management, and a PhD on Roe Deer Ecology and Management by the University of York. He maintains academic links with several universities, notably the University of Hull where he is a part-time senior lecturer in zoology, and Newcastle University, where he is associate lecturer in wildlife management. 


Alastair sits on several national and international committees, including the IUCN/SSC Deer Specialist Group and is the honorary scientific advisor to the British Deer Society. 


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David Hooton

East England Deer Liaison Officer

David joined the Deer Initiative in 2003 from The Forestry Commission, having worked as a wildlife ranger for 12 years based at Thetford Forest.

Specialising in deer impact monitoring he has a keen interest in balancing local and regional deer populations with the objectives of both the stalkers and landowners.


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Graham Riminton

West Midlands Deer Liaison Officer

Since completing his first degree in Geography, Graham has maintained an interest in all things ‘environmental’. He is a lifelong angler and volunteer with environmental/conservation/wildlife groups.

Graham also studied for his Masters Degree in Environmental Management at Nottingham University. Before completing the course he was offered a PhD research project investigating “Wild Food Networks” (with the focus on deer stalking, and pheasant, partridge, and grouse shooting). During the investigation he was inspired to become a stalker himself and has embarked upon the required training.



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Jamie Cordery

South East England Deer Liaison Officer

After completing a degree in Ecology, Jamie worked as a professional Deer Manager in Sussex. Prior to joining the DI in 2006, Jamie was a Lecturer at Sparsholt College for 21 years, teaching Wildlife Management from Diploma to Degree level. Jamie also introduced the first full time Deer Management course and the establishment of the college’s farmed deer herd. 

Jamie is currently the DI Best Practice Officer, Chair of the DMQ Quality Assurance Group and vice chair of the LANTRA game and Wildlife Industry Group.  He is a qualified Shotgun and Rifle Coach and Range Conducting Officer.


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Pauline Goring

Pauline has been the Office Manager at the DI since 2004, dealing with all administration matters for the organisation.

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Peter Watson

Executive Director

Peter joined the Deer Initiative in 2001 as the Central Region Deer Liaison Officer and Technical Advisor, he has been the Executive Director since October 2004. Prior to joining the DI, Peter was a Deer Officer for 5 years at BASC.


During that time he was involved in setting up Deer Management Qualifications and was a Trustee of the Deer Initiative. Peter joined BASC following a mid-career break during which he completed a degree in Ecology at the University of Stirling to build on a long term interest in wild deer and their habitats.


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Steve Griffiths

Steve Griffiths - Wales Deer Liaison Officer and Projects Manager for England and Wales

Steve joined the Deer Initiative in 2012 after 25 years of Estate Management for The National Trust and then The University of Wales.

His many years of working with volunteers and involving the local community in conservation has helped Steve develop his engagement and volunteering opportunities with the Deer Initiative and its Partners.

After two years as Project Manager for England and Wales Steve was appointed to the role of Deer Liaison Officer for Wales in October 2014 and continues his role as Project Manager.


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Suzanne Richardson

KTP Associate Research Officer

Dr Suzanne Richardson joined the Deer Initiative on the 1st September 2017 in her post as Research Officer. She is tasked with developing a decision support tool using ‘big data’ on deer population size and structure and their environmental impacts, to aid collaborative decision making about deer management. Suzanne will then embed the tool within an adaptive management package suitable for use by non-specialists. 

Dr Suzanne Richardson is a conservation research scientist with over twelve years of experience designing, conducting and managing research projects for diverse conservation issues. Suzanne has extensive field-work, data handling and analysis experience and has co-authored ten peer-review publications.


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