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Epping Forest to begin work on reducing deer collisions
Fallow deer
Deer are a common sight in much of west Essex

Shrubs alongside two roads through Epping Forest are to be cleared in an effort to reduce the number of collisions between cars and deer.

It will involve removing plants and debris along the verge of the B1393 and the B181, in order to improve the visibility for both drivers and deer.

In 2010 there were over 60 accidents of this nature in the forest.

Head forest keeper Keith French told BBC Essex the numbers collisions had increased "three-fold" since 2006.

He explained the thinking behind the work, which is set to begin in the next few weeks.

"It means deer can see the cars and the cars can see the deer," he said.

"It also gives them a clear sight line. They come up to the edge and have a look first.

"So if the scrub is right up to the edge of the road they're right by the cars before they make the decision to go.

"But if they can stand further back into the forest they can have a good look and have to make that sudden charge."

The work has been set up by The City of London Corporation, who own the forest and Essex County Council, with funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It is not the first measure to be taken in an attempt to reduce such accidents.

"In the past we've tried reflective posts which, as the cars come along their lights catch the reflectors on the posts which are supposed to scare the deer," said Mr French.

"But I think because of the vast amount of traffic in the time they've been there, the deer appear to have got used to them."

According to Essex Police there were about 250 animal related incidents reported in 2010, the majority of which involved deer.

Thirty-four people were injured as a result of striking a deer, whilst nationally the figure is around 500.

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