Hans Markus Antson, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Salford residents have been left heartbroken following a culling of roe deer by the RHS at Bridgewater.

The culling was confirmed by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) on November 27. They admitted to humanely culling deer, as a way to ‘limit the significant potential damage to plants, shrubs and trees’ at their Worsley site.

In response to this culling, a petition has been started to prevent RHS Garden Bridgewater from any further culling’s of roe deer at their site. The petition has already received over 5,600 signatures.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett has released a joint statement with Salford’s Wildlife Champion, Lewis Nelson, saying that the cull had caused ‘understandable distress among the general public’ and to confirm that they would be contacting RHS Bridgewater for greater clarity.

The RHS posted a statement on Facebook to apologise for any upset caused by the deer cull, and said that their actions were completed in the most humane way possible.

The statement confirmed that a deer proof fence had been erected to create a large deer enclosure in the North East quadrant of the Bridgewater Garden site.

The RHS continued: “A small population of deer remain within the deer enclosure and there is a plan to safely relocate them at a future date to another location.

“However, a very small number of deer have occupied the space outside the deer enclosure and due to the current COVID-19 restrictions it was not possible to herd, net and relocate them due to the large number of people required for such an exercise.

“We were really sorry to have to make this difficult decision, but we understand that proactive herd management, including humane culling by rifle, is essential to maintain healthy herd sizes.”

The cull has been met with an overwhelming amount of social media criticism.

One Facebook user said: “This is disgraceful and should never have happened. To blame it on Covid is disgusting and I am sure you could have found a much more positive way to handle this”.

Another user commented: “You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. The local wildlife has suffered whilst you disturb them to build your gardens”.

However, others were quick to suggest that the action taken by the RHS was normal, as deer culling is carried out at other locations, and helps to ‘keep the herd healthy’.

One user praised the RHS for “being transparent on this issue despite all the negativity that this will attract”.

The RHS later released a statement addressing the online criticism on November 28, saying: “We are listening to the local community and hearing how much this matters and many deer will continue to thrive in the surrounding area”.

One Comment

  1. Steve Macsweeney

    Very disturbing.Dont they read the papers?
    Customers will vote with their feet no doubt.

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