Isle of Wight Deer Conservation – Aims and Principles

Red deer are the larger of the two deer species native to the Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Deer Conservation Aims and Principles

Deer have been re-emerging in the wild on the island since the 1970’s with evidence of both of the native species, Red and Roe, being reported and also the introduced species, Fallow and Muntjac. With good populations of Sika along the northern shores of the western Solent it is unsurprising to occasionally see them here too.The presence of deer in the countryside can add greatly to people’s enjoyment of it and the Isle of Wight is no exception to this. We believe that competently managed wild deer can be a positive asset to the island’s biodiversity and economy.

Isle of Wight Deer Conservation was founded in 2015 by a group of qualified deer enthusiasts interested in maintaining a sustainable population of deer in the wild on the Isle of Wight, ethically managed within the principles of Best Practice.

Sika deer are a recent arrival on the island

Deer management goes far beyond simply culling animals and it is the aim of our group to record and exchange details of deer sightings, numbers and species, their age range and any resulting impacts that they may be having on agriculture and the environment.

With this knowledge based approach to local deer conservation and management it is our intention to assist our supporting landowners in keeping stable populations of deer at the modest densities known to be beneficial and by helping to mitigate any adverse localised deer impacts that may occur to agriculture or sensitive environments.

Fallow deer like these were introduced to the Isle of Wight by the Normans

If you support the aims and principles of Isle of Wight Deer Conservation and wish to learn more about deer in the wild on the island please visit Isle of Wight Deer or email us at

For greater details of wild deer within the UK please visit the British Deer Society website – BDS





7 thoughts on “Isle of Wight Deer Conservation – Aims and Principles

  1. Hi Tim
    I have now read this site which provides an interesting overview of what has occurred historically and what you hope to achieve on the island with this site. I congratulate on that but ask the following questions.

    1) Are you able to show any historic maps and / or locations of deer parks that have been in existence on the Isle of Wight. E.G Westfield Park, Appley and Puckpool Parks, Godshill Park ? and so forth

    2) Do you have any historical information available on Borthwood, Parkhurst etc that shows historically how the land was used to provide environments and habitats for these creatures, their hunting and so forth?

    3) Where might deer currently be found on the island farmed or in natural habitats.


    Mike Vallender


    1. Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your enquiry.
      Details of deer parks on the island can be found in the various works of Frank and Vicky Basford
      eg. The Isle of Wight in the English Landscape: Medieval and Post Medieval Rural Settlement and Land Use on the Isle of Wight V.Basford January 2013.
      I can also recommend Cock & Bull Stories : Animals in Isle of Wight Folklore, Dialect and Cultural History, by Alan R Phillips (Newport, IOW:2008) which contains a wealth of historic details.
      Sir John Oglander also comments on emparked and wild deer present on the island in the 17th century, whilst Sir Richard Worsley makes reference to Borthwood in his history of the Isle of Wight.
      The last deer farm on the island at Chale ceased around 15 years ago and is now a deer park containing Red deer. Herds of both Red and Fallow deer may be found in the deer park at Newclose, near Newport whilst Nettlecombe Farm at Whitwell has a couple of Reindeer.
      Deer in their natural habitat appear to be thinly dispersed across the island. I am given to understand that their tracks or slot marks may on rare occasions be seen on our northern shores.
      Best wishes,


  2. Much Appreciated Tim for it gives a good indicator of previous landscapes of the Isle of Wight, I know I have seen trees with raised canopies showing the feeding habits of deer at Ashey and Briddlesford Parkland and I believe I knew a farmer a few years back who was keeping deer at Sainham, Godshill.

    One other question if I may. Are you able to give any information on the preferred environment for deer species. I.E. Woodland, Parkland etc?



  3. I know for sure that there were deer in Chillingwood and Kemp Hill Moor until some years ago, as I saw a stag cross Rowlands Lane and hinds were seen in Coppid Hall Farm’s fields, grazing amongst the cattle, which the farmer told me he didn’t mind at all. This is going back to the 90s. They were fallow deer.Then nothing more was heard or seen. Anyone know what happened to them? I heard a rumour that either the Council or the Forestry Commission got rid of them. I am very interested in deer, their behaviour and habitats. Are there any wild deer left on the Island?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

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