Online campaign to free Stoke Newington deer

Facebook petition grows against Clissold Park’s deer pen

MORE than 1,000 signatures have been collected within a week of an online petition being launched calling on Hackney Council to shut down the deer enclosure at Stoke Newington’s Clissold Park.

The Help Free The Clissold Park Deer group on networking social site Facebook is urging that the park’s eight fallow deer are relocated to a larger and more secure home.

Concern for the herd’s welfare surfaced in August when a deer was injured and had to be humanely shot after night-time intruders broke into the enclosure.

A report was commissioned and vet Peter Green said the council had failed to safeguard the deer’s welfare and the animals had “suffered needlessly” during the park’s �9 million redevelopment.

Jemma La Baigue was inspired to set up the campaign after hearing of their plight. “I think the deer’s best interests should be at heart,” said Ms La Baigue, who lives in Archway, north London. A lot of people are coming forward saying they have been worried. It’s not a suitable environment for them at the moment and if local residents aren’t happy, then I think it’s important to follow up on that,” she added.

The deer have been subjected to dog attacks since redevelopment work began in February because space was left under the temporary fencing for dogs to slip into the enclosure.

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Inadequate security helped vandals to break in and the council was forced to step up security after three deer were let loose and the new aviary was set on fire on October 1.

When Mr Green visited in August, he considered the herd to be “disturbed and stressed,” hemmed in by noisy construction work, with nowhere to find shelter..

A spokeswoman for the council said they had no plans to move the deer.

“The deer are a well-loved part of the park and we will do everything we can to ensure they thrive,” she said.

“Nowhere in Peter Green’s report does he say the deer should be moved.

“In fact, if this were to happen it would cause additional stress and we all want to avoid this,” she added.

To sign the petition, go to