Dear Deer

I have a problem, deer. I have twelve acres of orchards, garden and kitchen garden, and we are surrounded by thousands of acres of moorland, forest (well what passes for forest here) and sheep/cattle grazing. Apart from the odd walkers or riders at weekends the countryside is empty Monday to Friday, perfect for deer. There are more deer in Britain than at any time since the twelfth century, when at least there were wolves to keep the number under control and locals were partial to one for the pot. The red deer eat the tops off my four year old orchard trees, the roe deer strip the camellias, the newly planted sweet chestnut grove, the hydrangea and mulberry walks and strip new shoots in the coppiced woodland. All the wildflowers and herb layer in the woods have been reduced to bare soil.

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