Deer in ancient woodland set 'to be monitored by flying drones'

A fallow deer stag
A fallow deer stag

The deer population in an ancient woodland will reportedly be monitored by drones.

Wildlife experts are using the drones to count the deer population in Sussex beauty spot Ashdown Forest.

The information gathered will be used to help manage the number of fallow deer in the woodland.

Fallow deer are a non-native species which can damage biodiversity if left unchecked by overgrazing vegetation, preventing it from growing.

Ten years ago the population grew so high that deer were involved in hundreds of road accidents.

The population has been controlled since 2016 through managed culling.

"They're a herd species so we do tend to see a lot more of them from numbers ranging from 20 to even 100 deer in one herd,” Glen Poland, Ashdown Forest’s deer officer told the BBC.

"You can imagine them going through a woodblock, not being pressured in staying there. They're just going to completely change the biodiversity."

The drones have cameras and thermal imaging sensors to observe the forest from above and monitor.

Then, the images are put onto a mapping system which creates a detailed picture of the population of deer in the forest.