Oh deer….

I probably ought to explain why I’ve been so quiet this last week. The “bug” that my other half picked up translated to full blown Gastroenteritis (again) for me, such that I lost Wednesday entirely and Thursday was a bit nil by mouth. So it’s fair to say the holiday was a little bit rubbish overall! Never mind, you can’t alway get what you want (in the words of the song)…

Serious Stuff

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It seems appropriate to write a post about deer when the “Dolman Report” has just been published which has resulted in calls for a mass cull of deer in Britain’s woodlands. I cannot pretend to be an expert in this field but I do know that such steps need to be subject to rigorous review (including rigorous review of the data underlying the report, since scientists have been known to make mistakes) and it feels like every person or body with a vested interest, including landowners and the Forestry Commission have jumped on the back of this report as a justification for a mass cull. This piece in the Telegraph is a particularly impressive one sided view of the world that doesn’t consider any alternative viewpoints: We love you Bambi

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Here is a summary of the British Deer Society’s response to the Dolman report (the paragraphs in bold are most relevant):

The British Deer Society welcomes good science. It has yet to read Dr Dolman’s report in full, but has seen the sensationalist headlines calling yet again for an increased cull of deer across the UK.

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The Society is wary of headlines such as 750,000 deer to be culled annually – this is not well-justified and sounds as if it offers rather an arbitrary figure, not one based on a very scientific approach. Further, as a percentage of the wider UK deer population, the BDS will be interested to see the methodology behind an estimation of 1.5m deer in the UK…

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The British Deer Society acknowledges that there are areas within the UK where there are far too many deer [including] Thetford Forest where this research appears to have been carried out – but suggests that such ‘hotspots’ of high density are not representative of the wider countryside.

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Extrapolation of more general levels of deer impact on biodiversity at a national level from results obtained within a study area of perhaps atypically high deer density may lead to somewhat unsafe conclusions about general impact levels…

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The British Deer Society is very supportive of active deer management, directed towards ensuring that deer numbers are maintained at densities that are in balance with their habitat and strongly supports a call that co-ordination of such management at a landscape level is to be encouraged…

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Perhaps one for verification before the hunters start priming their rifles?

Photography Stuff

I ended up buying a Panasonic 100-300mm lens for my GH3 prior to going on holiday and I’m glad I did. It’s a heavy lens and isn’t razor sharp at the long end, but it is a bit faster than the Oly 75-300mm. However, it feels solid and robust and the OIS works well enough. It was certainly good enough to get decent enough shots (would have liked sharper, but prefer to have the shots) of these deer at Bolderwood enclosure in the New Forest. For a 200-600mm equivalent lens at approx £400 it isn’t bad at all. However, I wouldn’t mind it if a decent sharp F4 prime in the 200-300mm range was made available in the M43s mount…

Despite my (terrible) filming technique I couldn’t resist posting this video of the deer taken with my GH3. I’ll be a bad workman and blame my tools but I was slightly hamstrung by having left my decent tripod at home and having to buy a cheap replacement that couldn’t really bear the weight of the GH3 + 100-300 lens. Never mind, I kind of like it nonetheless! You might want to watch it on Youtube in 1080p and full screen for the full effect…

One thought

  1. “This piece in the Telegraph is a particularly impressive one sided view of the world that doesn’t consider any alternative viewpoints”. No! Really? In the Telegraph? One-sided?

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