Deer farmers' attitudes to fencing waterways


  • Tracy Payne
  • Toni White



Researchers in the AgResearch deer programme are using social research to understand the level of environmental awareness amongst farmers. Our aim in this research was to understand the issues surrounding waterway fencing amongst farmers in Otago and Southland. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected as part of this project. Our findings indicate that the level of environmental awareness amongst farmers was influenced by their specific farm context. Many farmers were defensive when explaining their reasons for or against waterway fencing. Those farmers who did fence off waterways did so for practical reasons. Many believed it was impossible to fence off their waterways. Our findings suggest that the imperatives for fencing have to be balanced with the practicalities. These practicalities tended to centre on the number of streams that would be required to be fenced and the nature of the stream. Many farmers believed they were doing the 'best they could' and therefore did not feel they needed to adopt new environmental practices. Keywords: environmental awareness, waterway fencing, deer farming