For the second time in just four months, local resident Judy Dinsdale has come across a deer impaled on barbed wire whilst out walking her dog.
The first occasion was in March when she discovered a deer on National Trust land at Greys Court which had become impaled upside down and had died, with one of its hind hoof trapped in the double stranded wire fencing.
A few weeks ago on a very hot July morning, Judy came across a stag in the middle of Lambridge Wood trapped again on barbed wire with its neck twisted. Judy described the horrific discovery, “The stag was unable to free itself. When I found, it was just alive, tormented by flies and very still, probably patiently waiting to die.”
Judy contacted The Veterinary Centre on Reading Road who immediately arranged for Kenny Sherwood, one of their vets to come to Lambridge Wood. Judy said, “I’d like to thank Dafni Todd at the Veterinary Centre who immediately arranged Kenny who arrived within 30 mins, having walked from his car parked in Board Plat Lane to the centre of the wood. With the aid of bolt cutters, Kenny was able to move the stag away from the barbed wire.”
Rebecca Smyth who was also walking her dog in the woods walked back to her car after meeting July to collect a bottle of water. Judy commented, “Rebecca gave invaluable help. The stag drank all of the water and as a result began to revive, although the vet was unable to get it to stand up. Weakened by its ordeal it kept collapsing. As a result of this, the vet called out Tiggywinkles, Henley’s local and admirable wildlife rescue service. Tiggwinkles arrived within 30 mins after being called out bringing a stretcher. It was incredibly difficult to get a large stag onto the stretcher and then having to haul it over a high stile.”
The rescue took over 3 hours in the soaring heat and both The Veterinary Centre and Tiggwinkles gave their services for free. The stag was eventually taken to the Animal Sanctuary at Aylesbury.
Adam Ford, the Gardens and Outdoors Manager for the National Trust Thames Valley Portfolio, says, “These incidences are clearly very upsetting for all and we will be working with our tenant farmer and our outdoors team to increase the monitoring of the stock fencing.
“We look after the landscape at Grey’s Court, but not at Lambridge Wood. Lambridge Wood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), home to rare orchids and rare butterflies, and the fencing is likely there to protect the site and to keep cattle out.
“We would be happy to meet with anyone who would like to discuss the landscape around Greys Court and share any ideas they might have for managing the landscape.”
Judy questions why double stranded barbed wire is still being used for fencing now that there are more humane alternatives at similar prices.
Come on land owners take responsibility and change your fencing.