A recent survey has estimated that between deer, rabbits and badgers they are annually causing millions of pounds worth of damage to crops and plants in England. Unfortunately the damage is not just a financial one.
All of these animals are increasing at a rate which is struggling to be controlled. It is impacting on priceless things in our woodlands and surrounding areas such as much needed habitat for our nightingale and woodcock and wild plants such as our bluebells and fox glove.
Add to the mix the newly introduced and slowly reproducing wild boar and this could be a serious problem.
Damage caused by rabbits is two fold. Yes, they cause extensive damage to gardens and crops by eating all plants and chewing and scratching the bark from the bottom of young and mature trees but this is not the only problem they cause.
Rabbits live in burrows which are tunnels underground joined together to make a safe home for them. This in turn makes the ground very weak under foot. In woodlands this is a problem if near or on a public, bridal path or golf course etc. but also becomes a serious problem in open fields where livestock are kept.
For horses, sheep, cattle etc if one of the holes or tunnels were to collapse underneath them it could cause severe damage to a leg as well as distress to the animal.
We carry out the two most affective ways of rabbit control:
- In the summer we can shoot rabbits.
Early mornings and late evenings can be arranged for discretion
- In the winter months we carry out a more traditional method which is ferreting with nets.We use the natural hunting skills of ferrets to flush out any rabbits that live in the burrows and use nets to catch and dispatch of them humanly. This has the benefit of not affecting any livestock in the process but it also has a longer affect on rabbits. Ferreting is carried out in the winter but once a ferret has run through the tunnels it has left its scent which in affect stops any more rabbits populating that burrow for a period of time. Carried out annually this can be very effective rabbit solution.
It has now become legal to dispatch of wild boar if they are causing a problem but badgers are still very much protected.
Solutions are not always straight forward and what works in one situation is not always suited to another. Because of this we offer free advice on protecting crops and gardens.
For help with any of these issues please CONTACT US.