The Welsh Government has called on farmers to help manage wild deer in Wales which have caused environmental damage to 22 protected habitats.

The number of deer across Wales has grown significantly as woodlands have expanded and habitats are managed to improve conservation.

Over the next five years the Welsh Government will lead an action plan to encourage landowners to control the impact of wild deer on agriculture, forestry and vulnerable habitats.

Data collected by the Countryside Council for Wales shows that deer damage has been recorded in 22 Special Areas of Conservation, mainly in the Wye, Elwy and Elan Valleys.

John Griffiths, Wales’ environment minister insisted a partnership approach was needed.

“The action plan stresses the importance of a co-ordinated approach to the management of wild deer involving private landowners, public bodies and non-governmental organisations,” he said.

The action plan will seek to raise awareness of wild deer and their impact, develop methods for monitoring them and encourage best practice for managing populations.

People will also be encouraged to report road accidents involving deer.

The plan will be reviewed and updated in 2016. It can be viewed at the Forestry Commission website.