The author - Mike Bickerton

There is lots of talk about wild deer lately, both in the village and media. Apparently they have reached record numbers in some areas and damaged trees and crops and roses if they get into gardens. We too have large numbers of roe deer in woodland like Pen and Coker Woods, and New Plantation. The problem here is poaching, and animals are caught in wire snares causing terrible injuries and suffering. If you come across the activity, please call the police.

Deer may be doing well, but if you watched Richard Attenborough's recent Blue Planet programme; along with superb filming he emphasises how the planet is suffering at the hands of humans, and if we don't address this we will be the ultimate sufferers. We can see this happening in our own small patch as over the years many small species have disappeared. Insects, flowers, and animals have all suffered. I have a long list of birds including cuckoos, skylarks, peewits, barn owls, partridges, curlews, nightingales, song thrushes, swifts, willow warblers and turtledoves. The most alarming news is the 70% decline in insect numbers. That will have to wait until next month.

Mike Bickerton, November2017.