Lead: Lee Oliver loliver@gwct.org.uk

Length of scheme: 3 years

Area of group:  23,500 ha

The Elwy valley SMS started life with The Deer Initiative and has since transferred to the GWCT. The project centres around an ever-growing population of Fallow deer, where in some areas are having a negative effect on woodland regeneration.

The project has developed beyond a deer centred project to encompass all woodland threats for now and in the future.

The project area covers a vast 23,500 hectares to reflect the occurrence and movement of the deer population, we are working in partnership with Bangor University who have 2 PhD and 2 master’s students working on the project. The work involves many farmers and landowners including large estates, they are working with us voluntarily and can see the benefits the project will bring regarding a clearer understanding of the deer population and subsequent regeneration of woodlands. These farmers are currently working independently within the project but as soon as restrictions allow we intend to bring these landowners and farmers together so they can interact and discuss the project goals. This we hope will be the formation of a ‘farmer cluster’ which will carry beyond the lifetime of the project.

Within the project targets we will also be working with 30 schools and community groups in the area to further discuss the problems facing woodlands.