New road safety initiative for Brownhills


Road accidents involving our majestic deer have been sadly increasing.

You all know that I love local wildlife – and that I’m particularly fond of the local deer population, who have sadly been involved in many accidents with vehicles in recent years on roads around our commons, countryside and open spaces.

In order to try and prevent further accidents, Walsall and Staffordshire Councils have teamed up with experts in behavioural analysis from the University of Wolverhampton to form the Deer Safety Partnership, a new road safety initiative.

The Partnership yesterday issued the following press release, which I feel is well worth drawing to the attention of readers.

The Deer Safety Partership said:

The Deer Safety Partnership is a working group tasked with reducing the large number of road accidents involving the local deer population, who in recent years have been increasing in number within the green spaces of South Staffordshire and North Walsall Borough.

For some time now, efforts have been undertaken to educate local road users on the hazard presented by deer and other animals who wander freely in search of fresh grazing and shelter. Sadly, all efforts have come to little, and the partnership feels this is now the time to take an alternative approach.

After years of working with both motorists and deer, road safety and wildlife experts now realise that the problem that has to be addressed is better approached from the point of view of the herds, and to that end, experimental trials have been conducted with tightly controlled groups of deer.

It has been found that training the adult animals in safe road crossing procedures has reduced incidents in the target area by a startling 68%, a figure it is agreed can be further improved by fitting animals with high-visibility coats, similar to those used on police horses.


It is hoped high-visibly coats like these will be permanently fitted to local deer.

Dr. Mervyn Smith of the University of Wolverhampton, who has been working on this innovative project, explained ‘For years we tried increased and better signage, speed reduction measures and driver education techniques, to little or no effect.

‘It was while tracking some deer on Chasewater North Heath a few months ago that I realised our approach was totally wrong – we were trying to educate the less intelligent half of the road using community. No wonder we were failing.’

Dr. Smith continued ‘Our team has established that by working  intensively with small groups of deer that they can be trained to cross roads in appropriate places, look both ways and be very wary of any driver apparently on a mobile phone. By combining this approach with permanent fitting of high-visibility coats, we should see a permanent reduction in cervine fatality.


Red deer – hard to spot for distracted drivers and amateur photographers alike.

Brian Stringer, of the Brownhills Local Committee, welcomesd this pro-active action, ‘The high-visibility aspect of the project will be quite a boon for local amateur photographers, as it will make the roving animals easier to locate on dull days – but some of the Committee members are concerned that it may make gangs of Council lumberjacks harder to spot.’

It is hoped that in  the longer term, deer-operated crossings can be installed at critical points on The Parade, Chester Road and Watling Street, and the larger males could have speed warnings stencilled onto their rumps.

The pilot project commences with immediate effect, and if successful, will be expanded to include foxes, badgers and local children.

I for one, welcome this brilliant initiative. Anything that saves the lives of these majestic beasts has to be a move in the right direction.

Comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers, deers.

This entry was posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to New road safety initiative for Brownhills

  1. hapdaniel says:

    Putting signage for deer crossings in appropriate places is also very important.

  2. me says:

    Is this an April fools thing because I do agree that animals are probably easier to train than people but it sounds too far fetched to believe

  3. dave says:

    teaching deer to cross the road, deer crossings? hang on let me just check the date……

    love the blog 🙂

  4. Dave (Eddy) Edwards says:

    Good one Bob, Got that in early

  5. Ade Reid says:

    Brilliant idea Bob.I also am very interested in the local wildlife.only the other day i nearly bought eight legs of venison from my local butcher but at nearly 200 pound I thought to myself thats two deer..

  6. Sue Lote says:

    Happy April Fool

  7. Helen Cutler says:

    Wonder if flashing red noses would help too ? Lol!

  8. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    an excellent proposal. Other measures in the past have sadly failed, though much reported in the local press..speed bumps, traffic calming, numerous bollards and maritime foghorn. Save Our Dear Scheme !
    kind regards

  9. Edwina. says:

    I nearly got taken in by that one Bob, good one!!!

  10. From my sanctuary in the Brownhills embassy of the Peoples (and other non-human entities) Democratic Republic of the North Pole I feel safe revealed the untold story.

    This photo from Area 51, Watling Street – those deer who fail the course are encouraged to cross the road at a height sufficient to pass over double decker busses on both carriageways. The launch rails can be clearly seen. My informant tells me that the insertion of left over bonfire night rockets used to boost take off speed does cause the animals some distress. THIS EVIL SCHEME MUST BE STOPPED NOW!

  11. John Hopkins says:

    Hapdaniel’s suggestion re signage will only work if literacy classes are available for fawns.

  12. sKendo says:

    are you talking about putting high Viz on wild deer. Surely that will be a lot easier for poachers 🙁

  13. This is an excellent suggestion, it’s good to see local authorities pulling together on such a central issue.

  14. Ade Reid says:

    Does anyone know where you can buy Hi Vis jackets for badgers.Ive got 2 in my garden that I keep tripping over at night when I let my ferrets out ?

    • Ade Reid says:

      Also worth noting is that the respected Norwegian zoologist Mr S Claus has suggested fitting red flashing bulbs to the noses of deer as he does with his own herd and reports no injuries when they are out and about !!

  15. Graham says:

    Glad that you didn’t post this a few hours later, on 1st April, or some of your less intelligent readers might have thought it a joke!

  16. Pedro says:

    Of course the problem of collisions between dear and people on the move, is not a new one, just the prevention methods have changed a little.

    Back in 1868 there is a report that a collision occurred between a velocipede and a dear on Cannock Chase. This form of transport was much hated by the gentry as, if it came into mass production, it would allow the working classes to leave their hamlets.

    To cut a long story short Connan Doyle was brought in. After much tracking the trail led to the Brown Hills, the culprit was apprehended and transported to Botony Bay to join at least one other person.

    Asked how he managed to solve the case the young Conan Doyle explained that the culprit had made one big mistake. He had just changed to his winter wheels that left a distict trail right to his doorway. Quite how the old chartist came by such a vehicle remained a mystery.

  17. aerreg says:

    I Have just got back from my afternoon visit to brocton up the chase met the fifty bob taylor man with tape in hand saying deer deer me what a way to earn a buck why didnt they go to buxton and bonnits

  18. Pingback: Brock and roll | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.