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Thread: Deer and Railway Tracks - east coast mainline.

  1. #1

    Deer and Railway Tracks - east coast mainline.

    I spend quite a bit of my life staring out the window on train journey down to London from Edinburgh and back.

    I see a lot of Roe deer from the train, but as you get down into Lincolnshire, Notts and Hertfordshire expect to see Muntjac and CWD. But never see them.

    The railway line also provides a real corridor for deer movement. The sides of the track and pretty overgrown with scrubby bushes etc. Even just North of Berwick as the track goes along the coast there is still plenty of gorse and patches of scrubby woodland every few tens of yards apart.

    How far will Muntjac venture into the open? Will they cross an open field or two to get to the next patch of cover. I suppose the Tweed will be a barrier, but would have thought they could spread up the valley and then move across. But how dense does a muntjac population have to be before the youngsters get pushed out and have to go on their travels to find a new terratory?

  2. #2
    I am not sure how far north Muntjac are. I have seen roe deer swim across the Tweed. I would presume that all deer species would be able to cross a good stretch of water if they take the notion. I have also heard fishermen talk of seeing Red deer swimming from Arran to Kintyre which must be about 3 miles or more. The old disused railway lines in the Borders are good corridors for wildlife.

  3. #3
    A friend has noticed the lack of Muntjac after rail track erected a fence on a line running at the edge of one farm he shoots. You have to admire how they have spread across the UK from there start point.

    Having said that I saw only rabbits from the high seat last night........


    Tim.243
    Stalking is very much like going to the night club

    You can always tell an Essex Boy, just you cant tell him much...

    An hour in the field is worth a week of typing trash.....




  4. #4
    Used to see muntjac from the train fairly often between Cambridge surrounding towns - but generally only when it was moving slowly or halted. I think at full speed, you're really unlikely to see them.

    There are stretches North of Newcastle that I think would be pretty challenging for them, and (as far as I understand) they don't like gorse or other heath/moorland vegetation.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Heym SR20 View Post
    I spend quite a bit of my life staring out the window on train journey down to London from Edinburgh and back.

    I see a lot of Roe deer from the train, but as you get down into Lincolnshire, Notts and Hertfordshire expect to see Muntjac and CWD. But never see them.
    Heym SR20 I have not seen any muntjac, in Northumberland, however some of my shooting colleagues have. I know some of our site members abhor them, however I would welcome another species...or two (Red & Sika), make that three to add to my quarry list here in Northumberland, here's hoping!!

  6. #6
    Was talking to a fellow shooter near Newton Aycliffe the other day , he said there are loads about up there ,and they taste better than Roe.Also loads of poachers.

  7. #7
    Muntjac = Vermin, nuke them from orbit and behead the remains.

  8. #8
    Muntjac are an Asian species that do not survive well in prolonged cold spells. Why would they choose to head North where they will most likely perish when they can also head South where they will prosper? CWD are also spreading South for the same reason. Natural selection will decide the direction of migration, not the will of stalkers.
    MS

  9. #9
    In the days when I travelled on the ECML weekly between York and London, I regularly saw Muntjac in the open in an area of boggy forest somewhere around 5 miles south of Peterborough. There is a westwards extension of Stilton Fen there with both fields and very boggy silver birch woods cut by deep drainage ditches. Because of decades of pouring ballast onto the track to stabilise it (the original 1840s GNR line was laid across the bog on wooden fascines) the railway is now on a high embankment giving a good view into the woods. There are a couple of small clearings on the east side of the line and I'd usually see Muntjac in at least one of them at almost any time of the day. This was a long time ago, and it was some time before I discovered what the species was.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurie View Post
    In the days when I travelled on the ECML weekly between York and London, I regularly saw Muntjac in the open in an area of boggy forest somewhere around 5 miles south of Peterborough. There is a westwards extension of Stilton Fen there with both fields and very boggy silver birch woods cut by deep drainage ditches. Because of decades of pouring ballast onto the track to stabilise it (the original 1840s GNR line was laid across the bog on wooden fascines) the railway is now on a high embankment giving a good view into the woods. There are a couple of small clearings on the east side of the line and I'd usually see Muntjac in at least one of them at almost any time of the day. This was a long time ago, and it was some time before I discovered what the species was.
    Laurie.
    The area you describe is Holme Fen National Nature Reserve, which is now part of the Great Fen Project. It is only a couple of miles from my home.
    Muntjac are still present but not is such large numbers.

    The East Coast Main Line is definitely used as a conduit for deer in this area. The prolific bramble on the embankments is home to many of them too.

    Muntjac are now present across the whole of the Fens. They have occupied woodlands that are isolated, often by miles of open farmland, from other woods.
    A pessimist is an optimist with experience.

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