SALFORD-NEWS AND COMMENT: The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are building England’s fifth national RHS garden on the 154-acre site of Worsley New Hall. It is called RHS Garden Bridgewater and it’s intended to be a “beautiful green place to enjoy all year round”. The construction is extensive as you can see from the photograph but after planting tens of thousands of shrubs, trees and flowers there was an invasion of deer. They wanted to get them off the site and all options were considered. They decided they needed a hundred people to shoo them away but because of the coronavirus pandemic they couldn’t achieve this (social distancing?) and their options were restricted.
The organisers and managers decided to shoot nine roe deer which had wandered from their enclosure. The Times journalist says they were shot and taken away and that they were dispatched ‘humanely’. You have to argue with that because is shooting deer a form of euthanasia? This is highly doubtful.
What is not doubtful is that Salford City Council made a mistake and they’ve admitted it. Once the news of the shooting leaked out, Salford residents were very annoyed. A petition was started to oppose future culling which attracted thousands of signatures as reported on the Manchester Evening News.
Tory county councillors demanded a meeting with the bosses at the gardens and council officers. This was not what the organisers wanted because it’s meant to be a beautiful place which has now been tainted by the unnecessary deaths of these animals. One complainer said that the RHS was prioritising plants over sentient beings.
This week marks 6 months to go until we open the gates to our newest garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater!
Salford City Council issued an apology for their failure to communicate properly with the community. It appears that they did not apologise for the shooting but for their failure to communicate adequately with the community. An investigation will be carried out according to the Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett. The RHS has agreed to introduce a community engagement process to involve residents in decision-making about the roe deer population.
The RHS have posted on Facebook. They say the decision to shoot the deer was made following advice from consultants in the management of deer. A dear-proof fence has been erected around the perimeter of the garden. There’s plans to relocate a “small population of deer” which remain within the deer enclosure.