Alternative - Improved biodiversity: 2010 Wild Venison Project

In response an action requirement in the original Regional Woodland Strategy, in an effort to combat various kinds of wild deer damage, the Forestry Commission funded a report to examine the economic impacts of wild deer in the East of England in 2003. This report led to the creation of the Wild Venison Project, funded through the European Rural Development Programme, via the East of England Development Agency.

The project that resulted, led by the Deer Initiative and the Forestry Commission, aims to support the control of deer through the development of the wild venison market by offering grants and advice to improve and stimulate the supply of high quality wild venison to local markets. Several outcomes are expected to result from this project:

  • Improved wild deer management
  • Improved status of SSSIs in the East of England
  • Reduced numbers of road traffic accidents caused by deer
  • Support landowners to improve yields with enhanced land management

The Wild Venison Project provides advice and training; capital investment of up to 50% match funding for chillers and extraction equipment; plus grants for revenue infrastructure such as marketing and branding. The Project complements grants offered by the Forestry Commission to control deer with woodland.

Graham Riminton

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