The deer of Epping Forest are an “ornament to be preserved” within the Epping Forest Act. They are a much loved addition to the forest in the general public’s eyes.
Deer were introduced into the forest for Royal hunting and have not just survived but thrived because of the natural habitat and protection. The types of deer you are most likely to see are Fallow and muntjack. There is the occasional red deer that strays into forest land and a big red buck has been seen in recent years.
Deer vehicle collisions are a continuing problem. Sadly many deer lose their lives each year to being hit by cars. It is imperative to remember when driving through forest roads to watch your speed and remember that deer can and will jump across the road with no warning. Deer do not see in the same colour spectrum as us and car headlights do not alert them to the danger.
Following a campaign run by the forum the City of London was forced to retract a contract that had been awarded to a hunting club to manage the deer and it was returned back into control of the forest keepers. Herd management is important and there is a deer management review due to come out in 2020. Some local farmers are not as happy with the deer numbers being so high as deer can dramatically damage a crop in a very short space of time. Being restricted by the Epping Forest act with deer being preserved in the forest does present some problems towards managing a healthy herd and the deer review should provide some answers for this.