The decision to end deer hunting in Epping Forest 'buffer land' was welcomed by campaigners five years ago this week.

The City of London Corporation’s (CoL) decision to stop private deer hunting in forest land has been hailed as “a testament to the power of the public”.

On Wednesday (December 7), the corporation announced it had terminated the Capreolus Club’s contract to kill Fallow and Muntjac deer in 15 “buffer zones” around the north of Epping Forest.

The news came just over a week after the public reacted with fury to the contract, which first received attention on the online Epping Forest Forum.

Forum founder Paul Morris said he was “really happy” with the corporation’s quick decision, after previous campaigns against changes to forest management and the popular High Beach tea hut lasted for months.

“I was pleased that this time round they made a really quick decision.

“In the past, things can drag on for a long while but I think credit where credit is due, they listened and they reacted quickly.

“To be totally honest… I think maybe in a way they realised the implications of what was going on and how it had been explained, anyone could see there was a desperate problem.

“I think they realised they didn’t have much choice.

“When it comes down to public safety and guns, there isn’t really any decision to be made.”

Although Mr Morris said the campaign should restore faith in people’s ability to work together, he said “the whole thing could have been avoided” if a people’s panel promised by the CoL had been set up already.

The local Green party said it was proud to have played a small part in the campaign.

Co-ordinator Dave Plummer said: “We accept that deer numbers have to be managed but we believe that paid wardens should take care of that work, as they have been doing, rather than blood sports enthusiasts.

“The decision to end Capreolus Club's contract is a testament to the power of the public.”

People also went online to welcome the news.

Former Epping town mayor Ben Murphy wrote on Twitter: “Pleased to hear @CoLEppingForest have terminated their outsourcing contract for deer culling in #EppingForest.

“A brave & sensible decision.”

Announcing the decision on Wednesday, the CoL said there is a 30 day notice period and the Capreolus Club will stop hunting in the buffer land on January 6.

A spokesman said: “We have listened to the views of our visitors and we have taken this decision to reflect recent public concern.

“The Epping Forest committee will now investigate options and decide on an alternative way forward for sustainable deer population control on the Epping Forest buffer lands.

“A decision will be made in the best interests of both the ecology of the area and its visitors.

“Until a suitable replacement can be found, the deer population will be managed by our fully qualified forest keepers.”