This is just a warning folks – last night whilst riding home (Tuesday, 31st October 2017) at about 7pm, I met this chap, grazing contentedly, and not at all scared of passing cars, right on the bend in Green Lane at the darkest spot by Coppice Woods.
Whilst I love to see the majestic creatures, the danger to himself and traffic this proud lad posed was real and chilling, particularly as he was showing no inclination to move on.
This stag – I call him Ringo as he seems to be the chap who’s twice this season got life rings hooked over his antlers, presumably from the sewage works – has no fear and all the apparent brains of a treestump. He was posing a real traffic hazard and didn’t care.
I’ve also seen deer cross the Chester Road between the woods and park and at Sandhills, Shire Oak as well as all the usual spots by Chasewater, Clayhanger and the commons.
Watch out for deer around the green spaces of Walsall and South Staffordshire all the time – but particularly on these dark mornings and evenings. Hitting an adult red deer, which are top heavy and can weight a considerable amount – can kill both you and the animal. Be slow, be observant, and take care.
Maybe we should revisit the idea of fitting these buggers with hi-viz…
Here’s some good info from the Deer Aware campaign, issued in 2016 but it still holds true.
Motorists warned to watch for deer in mating season
Highways England and The Deer Initiative have joined forces to warn motorists about the heightened risk of collisions involving deer at this time of year.
Across the UK it is estimated that there could be up to 74,000 deer-related motor vehicle accidents this year alone, resulting in 400 to 700 human injuries and 20 deaths. The combined economic impact of injury accidents and car damage is likely to exceed £50 million a year.
October through to December is considered a high-risk period as deer will be on the move for the autumn mating season, also known as the rut. The highest risk of a deer-vehicle collision is between sunset and midnight, and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.
Tony Sangwine, Senior Principal Environmental Adviser at Highways England said: “Our top priority is safety – that is why we are working with the Deer Initiative to warn motorists about these particular risks. Deer are highly active at this time of the year, meaning they can suddenly appear on the road, at both dawn and dusk.
‘With most deer movement coinciding with key commuting hours, we are urging drivers to be more aware so that they can complete their journeys on our roads safely and without incident.’
Some 1.5million deer live wild in the UK. There are six main species. Highways England’s advice to drivers is:
- When you see deer warning signs or are travelling through a heavily wooded or forested stretch of road, check your speed and stay alert.
- If your headlights are on, use full-beams when you can; but dip them if you see deer, as they may ‘freeze’.
- More deer may follow the first one you see.
- Be prepared to stop. Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer. Hitting oncoming traffic or another obstacle could be even worse.
- If you have to stop, use your hazard warning lights.
- Do not approach an injured deer – it could be dangerous.
If you need to report a deer vehicle collision or to find out more on safety advice please visit ehe Deer Aware website which offers advice on how to avoid a collision and to collect data on the number of accidents.
Our research is the only national effort to collect data that could be used to save lives – the information you submit is an essential part of this important effort.