Deer freed from rope at Cowbeech.

Just over a week after having dealt with a fallow caught in electric fencing near Uckfield, rescuers have again been called out to a buck with its antlers attached to rope of an old rope swing, off Trolliloes Lane, Cowbeech near Hailsham.

Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out just after 12noon today (Saturday 9th September 2023). One of WRAS's technical rescue veterinary ambulances attended along with a team of five rescuers.

Luckily rescuers were able to drive a reasonable distance towards the deer down access tracks before having to walk the last couple of fields to where the deer was entangled.

Rescuer Trevor Weeks MBE and Thea Taylor used a walk-to-wards net to restrict the movement of the deer before rescuer Keith Ring was able to undertake a risky leg grab to gain control of the deer.

"Normally at such rescues the deer have very long lengths of rope attached to them, but this was very short. It made the rescue quite unusual as we were not able to pin the deer to the floor as normal without putting stress on the deer's neck and head. At first I had to support the deer whilst we quickly assessed how we could keep control whilst cutting him free. Luckily the deer naturally landed up against the tree trunk which helped support him" said Trevor.

Luckily for the rescuers there was very little rope to cut so once the rope was free, rescuers were able to bring the deer down to ground level and prepare for the deer for release. In a safe and controlled manner the deer was then successfully released.

"At first I don't think the deer released he was free to run off, but after a bit of encouragement the deer was running off across the field to safety" said senior rescuer Keith Ring.

East Sussex WRAS is urging people who erect rope swings to be considerate when doing so and not to erect them in areas where deer regularly frequent or where there is evidence of deer foot prints.

"I enjoy jumping on a rope swing when out exploring the countryside even at my age" said Trevor, 51, of Ringmer, " but with a bit of care they can be safe for everyone including deer.

WRAS is urging anyone with a rope swing to ensure the swing is either removed or secured high enough off the ground out of the way of antlers especially during August / September time when deer will be rubbing their antlers against tree trunks to get rib of the velvet coverings.

"These rescues may look easy, but we have a specialist team of rescuers to deal with these situations because of how dangerous they are. People have been injured and need hospital treatment as a result of attempting to deal with such injuries themselves" said Trevor.

When finding such an entanglement, do not cut them free allowing them to run off trailing rope as this will just cause them to become entangled again, and next time they may not be so luck to be found and then die. WRAS is urging anyone who comes across such a situation to clear away out of eye sight and ear shot of the deer, keep quiet, and call a rescue organisation for help like WRAS or the RSPCA.

East Sussex WRAS is an award winning community charity which now deals with over 5000 casualties every year.

Funded entirely by generous donations. To make a donation please call 01825-873003 or visit or scan the QR on the video.

Video without logos on is available ( for use by local media to East Sussex UK. For commercial use of this video please contact East Sussex WRAS on 01825-873003 ext 300.

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