We are sorry to report that Thakeham Homes are refusing to take responsibility for the deer trapped in the fields they own south of Folders Lane.
Thakeham Homes put new fencing, topped with barbed wire, around the perimeter of their land shortly after destroying the hedgerows and chopping down trees. This fencing divided the open countryside in which deer have been living for many years.
A group of at least 3 deer had been seen many times in what are now Thakeham’s fields during the months and years before Thakeham Homes purchased the land, in fact the banner at the top of the Soflag Facebook page is a photograph of these deer taken in 2013.
After the fencing was erected 2 deer were immediately seen to be stuck inside. They have spent the past few weeks repeatedly running up and down against the fence along the southern boundary, and until a few days ago a third deer was to be seen on the other side running alongside them but separated by the barbed wire.
The RSPCA have done everything they can to get Thakeham to help these deer. They want a temporary gap to be made in the southern boundary to allow them to get out safely. Thakeham’s position is that the deer must have jumped over the fence into the field after it was erected but Soflag do not accept this. A householder who can see into the field has seen one of the deer attempting to jump over the fence to get out but it is not capable of doing so.
The RSPCA have been great, but now there is nothing more within their legal powers that they can do. Thakeham are refusing to take action themselves, or to permit the RSPCA into the fields to create a gap in the fence.
The third deer has not been seen for a few days, and sadly the RSPCA Inspector has confirmed that a deer has been killed on Keymer Road.
Here at Soflag we feel frustrated that there is nothing we can do either. We formed to protect the countryside south of Folders Lane, and now part of it has been bought by the developer Thakeham Homes and the result is the destruction of the hedgerows and the continuing distress of the two remaining deer.