The UK's leading expert on deer related road traffic accidents was at the recent Cairngorms Deer Advisory Group's meeting at Mar Lodge, Deeside. Dr Jochen Langbein of the National Deer-Vehicle Collisions Project spoke to members about the data that has been collected and the types of measures that can be taken to help reduce the risk of such accidents.
Organised by the CNPA, the meeting comes at the peak time in the year for deer related road accidents. Once the clocks go back in October there tends to be an increase in deer feeding at roadside verges as people travel to and from work, resulting in more collisions.
Dr Langbein explained: "It is difficult to get accurate figures for the National Park but we do receive between 40-80 reports of deer related accidents in the area every year. However, many accidents go unreported on more rural roads so we think the figure is more likely to be in the region of between 120 and 180.
"The worst affected areas in the Cairngorms National Park are the A9 between Blair Atholl and Dalwhinnie and the A9 between Kincraig and Carr-Bridge as well as the A93 on the east side of the Park between Aboyne and Ballater."
Good signage and maintenance of roadside verges - such as clearing high scrub and overgrown trees - to ensure clear sight lines for drivers are among the recommendations made by Dr Langbein, all of which will go some way towards helping to reduce the risk of deer related road accidents.
The National Deer Collisions Project is encouraging people to report deer related road accidents to them so they can continue to build up a clear picture of the worst affected areas in the Cairngorms National Park. Incidents can be reported here.
Michael Hone, CDAG chairman said: "As deer managers we are well aware of the shared role we have to play in helping to reduce the risk of deer related road accidents."