Worsley ward Councillors Karen Garrido, Les Turner and Robin Garrido together with Boothstown & Ellenbrook ward Councillors Darren Ward, Bob Clarke and Jillian Collinson met this morning at an urgently called meeting with Richard Green (RHS Bridgewater Worsley), Jim Taylor (Chief Executive Salford Council) and Ben Dolan (Director Environmental Services Salford Council).
Richard Green apologised for not involving the local community and councillors in the decision to cull the deer and recognised there had been a total lack of communication, which he totally regretted. He committed to engagement and coherence going forward.
From January, monthly meetings will be held with the local councillors to deal with all issues regarding the gardens and their development. In addition, Richard Green has also committed to attend the Worsley and Boothstown Community Committee meetings which represent all local groups and other forums by invitation.
At this moment in time the RHS in Worsley does not have a deer management policy. One will now be put in place and be shared with the councillors and ultimately the community. The policy will include all aspects of deer management, including relocation.
Richard Green admitted that the statement issued at the beginning of the weekend was inappropriate and unsatisfactory in recognising the community’s concerns.
When questioned regarding the use of COVID restrictions as a reason for the culling, he said that RHS had probably become more internally focussed because of the current restrictions, which we have all had to contend with. He recognised this as a mistake.
He agreed to a suggestion that a leaflet/newsletter be prepared and delivered to all households It was suggested that in future RHS needed to help the local community in any appropriate way when approached.in Worsley, Boothstown and Ellenbrook on a regular basis.
It was discussed as to why the deer were not tranquilised and then relocated rather than culling. The local councillors were advised that this option was extremely difficult, since using darts from the required distance would be ineffective. In addition, tranquilising Roe Deer isn't safe as they react badly to the darts, resulting in a high mortality rate. This advice was obtained from various professional organisations.
It was stated at the meeting that netting to capture and relocate the deer was not a practical option because of the length of netting required to cover the boundary of the gardens. Using 100 beaters to attract the deer, would mean the animals would still be seven metres apart, leaving the deer plenty of space to avoid being caught. The nets, if used, would require deployment of twenty handlers, whose job it would be to disentangle the deer from the nets. Unfortunately, this method results in the possibility of some deer being injured during the exercise.
Ward councillors stipulated that they expected RHS to work on rebuilding bridges with local councillors and community as soon as possible. Hopefully, some of the actions discussed will assist in achieving this.
It is surprising to note that neither the City Mayor nor his Wild Life Champion attended today’s meeting and were therefore not party to these all-important discussions.