The owner of a historic deer park on the border of Odiham has said the introduction of deer would benefit the community, as plans progress to bring the animals back for the first time in centuries.
Proposals to reintroduce deer on land that sits between Odiham and neighbouring North Warnborough will be shown at exhibitions this weekend.
Planning consultants Bell Cornwelll will display the plans at the Vine Church, in London Road, on Friday (April 24) between 1pm-8pm and on Saturday (April 25) between 10am-2pm.
The park is situated north of the High Street and formal plans have not yet been put forward to Hart District Council.
The deer park was first created in the twelfth century to cater for the royal love of hunting, but for the past 400 years the land has been used for agriculture purposes.
Richard Revell has owned the land for 15 years and has been working with specialists for around 10 years on the deer park plans.
The plans are privately funded and will also include the building of 10 houses on the land to finance the project.
Mr Revell said it was important to him to only allow for the development of enough houses to fund the project only.
He said he wanted to provide something for the community to use, akin to Richmond Park in London.
Deer, potentially from Petworth Park in West Sussex, would be introduced to the land slowly allowing time for the natural growth of the herd and for the flora and fauna to adapt.
He said: “For me, the plans are a vision of taking what has sadly become agricultural land and reinstating a deer park similar to in the twelfth century.
“The plan is to introduce fallow deer onto the land, hopefully from Petworth House. We will then improve access to the park and I hope for it to become an integral part of Odiham.
“This is purely to provide something for future generations. At the moment you have a huge part of Odiham’s history that has been lost to agriculture.
“In the future people living and visiting Odiham will not only be able to enjoy the amazing High Street but will be able to walk in the deer park.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve done and I hope people are excited about it.”
Mr Revell, who lives in Dogmersfield, said the idea came to him as he wanted to create something that would ‘outlast’ him and be there for generations to come. He said he intended to remain the owner of the park after its restoration.
The plans were first discussed with members of Odiham Parish Council and Hart District Council in a meeting with Bell Cornwell in September 2014.
In a statement dated September 24, Odiham Parish Council said: “Participants at the meeting refrained from commenting on proposals although questions of clarification were asked.
“Odiham Parish Council awaits details of a more formal, complete proposal at which point it will submit its comments to Hart District Council under its statutory duty as consultee.”