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This doe has moved into the woodcock strip after my attempts to thin and brash the sitkas.

Amongst the various objectives I have for the Chayne, encouraging roe deer is a major goal. I love watching these animals almost as much as I love eating them, and the prospect of having some on the farm is really exciting.

Since I began to clear out the woodcock strip last year, a single doe has started to spend time in there. As soon as the dense walls of sitka spruce had been brashed back and hollowed out, she appeared as if from nowhere and began to graze the fresh grash which was staging a comeback thanks to my work. It was hugely satisfying to know that she wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for me, and seeing that even a small change can make a difference to the local wildlife gave me a huge boost.

Over the next few years, I plan to put in a few small patches of native woodland in some of the lower and boggier areas of the farm, and it will be fascinating to see whether the local roe will move in in greater numbers. So far I haven’t had the chance to shoot a buck this summer, but I hope that over the next few years, the Chayne will start to be able to provide me with one or two.

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