HC Deb 21 July 1832 vol 14 c622
Mr. Lennard

presented a Petition from the freeholders and occupiers of land in the neighbourhood of Waltham Forest, praying that the deer upon that forest might be destroyed. The petitioners complained that their property was greatly injured by the deer, and he (Mr. Lennard) believed they had good reason for the complaint they made. He had not been able exactly to ascertain what number of deer there were upon the forest; but it had been stated that there were several thousands. These not being confined within the forest by any fence, ranged over the adjoining country, and necessarily committed great injury. In 1793, when a commission was appointed to inquire into the state of the forests and Crown lands, a memorial was presented to the Commissioners, from the owners and occupiers of land of twelve parishes within and adjoining the forest, stating, that they were injured to the amount of full one-tenth part of the annual rent or value of their land by the deer. He did not think that this could be an overstatement of the mischief which was done to the neighbourhood. It was obvious, too, that the timber in the forest must be greatly injured by the deer, or else fenced at a great expense, and it was notorious that the deer were the occasion of much poaching, and many commitments to the county gaol. He begged it to be observed, that the petition was not asking for the inclosure of the forest. To that, he knew many Gentlemen residing in the neighbourhood of the forest would decidedly and very strongly object. But, in praying for the removal of the deer, it seemed to him, that the petitioners were only asking for the removal of that which must be considered a public nuisance. The petition further prayed, that the forest laws might be abolished, the fence months done away with, and each parish allowed to have its common district. He hoped the petition would receive the attention of his Majesty's Government.

Petition to be printed.

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