A Salford councillor has said that the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) will have to ‘build bridges’ with the local community, following their culling of deer at the Bridgewater site in Worsley.
Councillor Les Turner was one of the six ward councilors who met with the manager of the RHS today, after the actions of the RHS sparked outrage in the local community.
Shame on @RHSBridgewater needlessly killing native roe deer just to plant a few flowers to make the place more ‘attractive’ for humans.
Nothing “humane” about this, They say themselves, roes have no “natural predators” -so RHS Bridgwater killing them is abhorrently unnatural! 😡 https://t.co/IP57uSUmFT
— Bev 🌱 (@bevbuxton) November 28, 2020
At the meeting, the RHS apologised for ‘not involving the local community and councillors in their decision’ to cull deer at Bridgewater Gardens.
However, the RHS insisted that they had made the correct decision, following the advice of specialists.
Cllr Les Turner said: “We had a very good meeting with the manager at RHS, and he accepted that there had been a total lack of communication.
“The RHS had failed to recognise the level of concern within the community, about the actions that they took.
“They have now committed to engaging with the local councilors and the community in monthly meetings starting from January to try to avoid any misunderstandings, and to make the community more informed.
The RHS received a flood of social media criticism following their decision to cull the deer instead of relocating them.
— Sara Venn (@Saralimback) November 29, 2020
At the meeting, the council asked whether it would have been possible to have anaesthetised the deer instead.
The RHS responded by saying that they had consulted many professional organisations, which had advised against using tranquillisers.
They had been told that roe deer respond particularly badly to anesthetics, which could have been fatal.
Cllr Turner continued: “Moving forward their policy is still to relocate deer if at all possible, but they’re unlikely to make any of decisions of that nature, without first consulting the local community.
“We’ve got to build bridges, and we can’t dwell on the past. We’ve got to look forward.
“I believe that the RHS really was sorry, and I don’t know why they didn’t think of consulting us first, and of course lacks of communication are always to be regretted.
“I’m confident that the RHS is now putting a deer management plan in place, which will be shared with the councilors, and we will share this with the community.”
The new plan will include all aspects of deer management, including relocation, although there are no further plans of that nature.