Measures being put in place to safeguard deer on site of proposed gigaplant

Efforts are being taken to protect and safeguard deer living on the site of a proposed gigafactory.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 10:00 am
The Britishvolt site in Cambois and (insert) one of the Roe deer found living on it.
The Britishvolt site in Cambois and (insert) one of the Roe deer found living on it.

Bosses at Britishvolt say they are aiming to maintain a healthy and sustainable deer herd on the gigasite in Cambois following advice from animal experts.

The company had inherited the Roe deer after purchasing the land earlier this year.

A report by the British Deer Society (BDR), seen by the News Post Leader, said it would be impossible to relocate the deer, with Britishvolt now putting measures in place to help the deer.

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Following further advice from the BDR, Britishvolt will ensure the size of the herd is a sustainable number, and maintained by a warden.

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt UK CEO, said: “When we purchased the site in Cambois we inherited the Roe deer.

"Sadly, the deer hadn't been cared for properly and so we enlisted the help of the British Deer Society who sent their head vet to carry out a physical check of the animals.

"The BDS found evidence of malnutrition among some of the herd and advised on a cull to bring the deer to a healthy, sustainable number.

"It was disappointing to see some suggestion of upward of 40 deer been culled on certain social media channels, when the reality is, seven deer from a herd of 28 were culled.

"We understand this in itself can be upsetting, but it was the most responsible course of action for the animal’s welfare, on the advice of leading experts.

"Deceased deer, that had starved to death, were found by the society.

“We will maintain the herd with a warden and ensure they live a healthy, happy life. We have also fitted deer gates so that the animals can leave the land if they wish.

"We believe we have gone above and beyond, as we always strive to do.

"These actions were the responsible thing to do on advice of the country’s deer experts.

"We believe the people of Cambois will see this in our actions to help protect and save the deer on our land for the long term."

Dr Peter Green, deer veterinary expert and veterinary advisor to the British Deer Society, said: “Britishvolt took charge of an enclosed brown-field site where roe deer had been trapped for more than ten years.

"There had been an unhealthy degree of inbreeding and there was not enough natural forage to support the population.

"Although some dominant animals remained in acceptable condition, others had starved to death in recent winters.

"Britishvolt has acted responsibly and humanely by installing one-way gates in the security fence so that deer can leave the site.

"Britishvolt intends to support and protect deer on the site, with numbers and sex ratios appropriate to the available food.

"A small number of deer has been humanely culled to begin the process of creating a healthy, balanced and sustainable population of deer for the future.”

Britishvolt are investing £1.5million on an ecological compensation scheme at the former Potland Burn Opencast site as part of developing its Cambois site.

The scheme will create an additional 10 per cent of habitat areas, including wet grasslands, ponds, species-rich grasslands and scrub covering an areas of 67 hectares, and will then be managed for a period of at least 30 years.