New deer fencing on display at Yarra Valley ECOSS

Yarra Valley ECOSS is welcoming landowners and groups to see how deer exclusion fencing could help them. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Callum Ludwig

A new installation at Yarra Valley ECOSS is set to help protect the site and help provide an educational opportunity for its visitors.

New deer-proof fencing lines the grounds thanks to a 2023 grant from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)’s Deer Control Program.

Executive Director at Yarra Valley ECOSS Chelsea McNab said Yarra Valley ECOSS strives to be a hub of information for environmental and social sustainability.

“This project enabled us to install four types of Deer Fencing as an Educational Model for the community to view and gain a better understanding of deer control methods,” she said.

“If you come to ECOSS you’ll be able to tour the fence line and read the interpretive signage associated, this is a wonderful resource for landholders and land managers to tour.”

The fences were installed by Advanced Ag Services based in Healesville.

Four wild species of deer live in Victoria: sambar, red, fallow and hog deer. Sambar is the most common, widespread and largest species in Australia.

The Victorian Deer Control Program aims to minimise the impact of deer on biodiversity, water quality, public safety, agriculture and Aboriginal cultural heritage., including the statewide Victorian Deer Control Strategy and three regional deer control plans of which the Yarra Ranges falls under the peri-urban control plan.

As well as deer exclusion fencing, recreational hunting, aerial and ground shooting and trapping on private land are all contributors to managing wild deer populations.

The Australian Government also released the National Feral Deer Action Plan in 2023 to help guide land management agencies, groups and organisations as well as state and territory governments in their deer control practices.

Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and Yarra Ranges Council have also worked alongside DEECA in deer management efforts locally, while deer control, monitoring, and fencing programs have been undertaken across areas including in the Yellingbo Conservation Area, Bunyip State Park, Tarago Reservoir and in private properties along the border of public land areas.

An independent report by Frontier Economics in 2022, commissioned by the Invasive Species Council, suggested that not controlling the species could cost Victoria between $1.5 to $2.2 billion over the next 30 years.

Anyone interested in booking a tour of the Deer Fencing for themselves or a group can contact Ms McNab on