Deer on British roads

Cannock Chase Deer Safety Project

Cannock Chase Deer Safety Project28/09/21

The Cannock Chase Deer Safety Project was set up 3 years ago to trial new technologies and methods used around the world to help prevent deer vehicle collisions. 

It is run by Robert Taylor from the Staffordshire County Ranger Service and a core volunteer team (Zoe Campwell, Nathan Cooper, and Emily Mcardle) plus another 6 volunteers.

The project has been gathering data from trail cams and past DVC figures to assess each mitigation method, looking at animal behaviours, reactions etc. By collating the data, it is possible to identify the best methods and trial these across black spots within the road network of Staffordshire. 

The current trial is focusing on fallow deer, which are a medium to large sized deer in the UK. Fully grown males (bucks) stand at around 0.84 to 0.94m tall at the shoulder and weigh between 46 to 93kg. Fully grown females (does) are 0.73 to 0.91m at the shoulder and weigh between 35 to 56kg.

Methods Being Trialled

The project is testing multiple methods from across the world. This is because the issue requires more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. In the UK alone there are six different species of deer living wild, each of a different size and often with different behaviours when it comes to roads.

Current trials as part of the project include:

In addition to the trials, the Cannock Chase Ranger Service and deer safety project are currently installing temporary deer warning signs across the Chase and potential blackspots across Staffordshire for the upcoming rut and winter period, when there is often a rise in deer vehicle collisions. 

Preventing Red Deer on the M6 Toll Road

Beyond Cannock Chase the project team have been consulting and advising with the M6 Toll (Midland Expressway) to help prevent red deer from accessing the slip roads on to the motorway. After a site visit and looking at different methods from the Cannock Chase project, the PIR strobe/alarm deterrent and PIR mp3 sensor have proven to work well. Deer completely avoid the area after the sensors have been triggered. Results are looking promising with a 90% success rate to date. The team are also working to set up a scented fence on the M6 Toll Road after some encouraging data.

Funding and How You Can Help

So far the project has received funding from Staffordshire Commissioner Police Fund; Hanson Aggregates; Cemex Quarry; Cannock Chase AONB and volunteer cake & marathon sales/sponsorship, plus various other initiatives and organisations.

It would be beneficial if more organisations supported the Cannock Chase Deer Safety Project and its valuable research into preventing deer vehicle collisions. If you would like to support the project, please contact Robert Taylor at 


Highways England, RSPCA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Funded by Welsh Government, The Deer Initiative Highways England, RSPCA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Funded by Welsh Government, The Deer Initiative