A decision to allow members of a private club free reign to shoot deer in an area of ancient woodland in London has sparked outrage.
The Capreolus Club says it has “exclusive rights” from the City of London to hunt deer in 2,000 acres of Epping Forest.
It means hunters will be able to shoot rifles in areas open to the public.
Anyone looking to kill large Fallow and Muntjac deer will be assessed by the club’s head stalker before being handed a gun and sent to a “suitable” area.
A specialist is provided year round who can help members retrieve, disembowel and move dead deer to the club’s “chiller facility”.
People living nearby reacted with outrage. On an online forum, local Robert Rust said: “What worries me are people hunting in Epping Forest ,which is public land, and someone getting hurt.”
Jo Stapleton wrote: “Have I missed something here? Am I right in saying there will be people with loaded guns in the forest??”
It costs £800-a-year to join the Capreolus Club, as well as a one-off £300 joining fee, according to its website.
A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation said: “Deer within Epping Forest are not subject to a cull.
“The private contractor only has a license to carry out deer population control on the Buffer Lands, 1700 acres of farmland and woodland around the Forest.
“This takes place across strictly controlled areas of the Buffer Land at very specific periods prescribed by law.”
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