We love the things to bits - Roe Deer - it's marvellous to think that wild creatures as big as these live in the forests around our home, but we have a little problem this week.
They have been coming into our garden and nibbling at the young growth on my wife's plants. The strawberries are wrecked, and a number of other promising specimens have been chewed down to ground level. I'm very sorry, but this won't do at all. I have still to have a chat with the farm's ghillie (gamekeeper) about what we can do, but I have been looking on the internet for discussion of solutions for such a problem. As ever, most of the suggestions are worthless, but there are some ideas out there.
Little machines which are triggered by infrared, and then produce strobe lights and sounds, ranging from dogs barking to ultrasonic things. Interesting, in a wacky way - expensive, too. Bags of human hair sprinkled in the woods. Things which smell of dog, or coyote, or lions (!) are reputed to discourage deer. Dried blood, I read somewhere - but this is getting a bit dark.
We are going to try our variation on a recommendation from a man in Maryland, no less. Set up a barrier about 20 feet back into the woods from the bottom of the garden, consisting of two strands of fishing line (15lb strength, so as not to hurt or entangle the animals), wound around the trees and stretching between them at about 18 inches and 2 feet from the ground, which will be adorned (if such be the word) with fishing rod bite alarms, which are little jingly bells, officially made of plastic and alloy, and thus non-rusting. That is the theory.
All sorts of comic visions present themselves - the place could sound like Santa's sleigh at night, or the deer might walk straight through them, or bring all their mates to laugh at them. The deer might even pinch them. We have a little time to think about this - assuming we still have some plants to protect, the bite alarms are coming from China, and - of course - I still have to consult the ghillie. Here's an encouraging glimpse of the jingle bells, with appropriately soothing and deer-free music.
And remember, kids - you're not really supposed to put them on your finger.