Deer rescued from near busy Uckfield High Street

Roe deer just off Uckfield High Street
Roe deer just off Uckfield High Street
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A female roe deer was rescued when she was found just 50m away from Uckfield High Street, potentially posing a danger to drivers in a busy area.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) sent two veterinary ambulances from Uckfield and Polegate to the scene on Monday March 4.

Local residents contacted WRAS at about 10am after spotting the deer running between gardens in Bedford Court.

After a search of the area, the deer was found hidden behind a row of garages.

Rescuer Trevor Weeks said: “In situations like this we would normally leave alone and let them sort themselves out but being in such a busy area and so close to the High Street, there was a real risk to people and traffic.

“The last thing we wanted was the deer to cause an accident and potentially die.

Four rescuers attended, using two stretchers, ladders, and blankets.

Two WRAS volunteers even had to scale a wall and fence using ladders to get to the animal.

WRAS carer Kathy Martyn from Uckfield said: “Whilst our hearts were racing dealing with her I think the motorists only about 50metres away from us had no idea what was going on.

“You have to be so careful with deer and they are powerful animals.

“We were reluctant to use sedatives and this would cause delays in any release and potentially be more stressful to the deer.

“It took four of us to gain control of the deer which was pinned on either side using stretchers as safety barriers.

“She was then covered with a blankets and once in full control she was lifted in a rather unlady like fashion to the waiting ambulance where she was placed on her keel with two rescuers accompanying her.”

The ambulance drove the short distance to the Sussex Horse Rescue Trust’s land in Hempstead Lane, Uckfield, where they released the deer into a field.

WRAS rescuers monitored the deer as it ran across the field. It then negotiated several fences and ditches.

Trevor added: “It was clear she knew the area where we released her, rather than panicking about how to get through the fences and ditches she went straight to the crossing points and away with ease, she definitely knew where she was.

“It was one of two likely areas where she would have come from.

“Capture to release took less than 20 minutes.

“This is important for the deer’s welfare, as they have been known to suffer heart attacks if they get too stressed. We took longer planning the rescue than the rescue itself.

“Staff at the horse sanctuary are going to keep an eye out for her just in case of any problems.”