Deer Are The Most Common Roadkill In Britain - And The A303 Is The Deadliest Road For Animals

By James O Malley on at

The freedom of information act is an amazing tool, as it allows you get access to all sorts of interesting government data. Today, for instance, the government was forced to publish the statistics it holds on roadkill - animals killed on British roads.

It isn't clear exactly what period the data covers, but it appears to be 2016 if the original request is anything to go by. What it does do though, is give us an intriguing glimpse into which animals are most often mowed down - and which British makes the Animals of Farthing Wood look tame.

As we're techno-wizards here at Giz UK, we've crunched the number and made some interesting graphs to show the scale of the carnage.

First up, here's the most commonly killed animals:

As you can see above, Deer are the biggest losers, with motorists killing 611 of them (of 2213 animals in total) - followed by Badgers (534) and Foxes (471). Here's the full list:

  1. Badger - 534
  2. Bird - 22
  3. Cat - 178
  4. Deer - 611
  5. Dog - 168
  6. Ferret - 3
  7. Fox - 471
  8. Goat - 1
  9. Hare - 1
  10. Horse - 10
  11. Mink - 3
  12. Otter - 27
  13. Owl - 34
  14. Pig - 2
  15. Polecat - 10
  16. Rabbit - 1
  17. Sheep - 15
  18. Swan - 36
  19. Unknown - 85
  20. Wallaby - 1

And what about the deadliest road? Here's the chart:

Holy cow - the A303 is by a long way the deadliest stretch of British road for animals, with a frag count of 425 animal deaths. This is perhaps unsurprising once you look at a map - as the road, which runs between Basingstoke in Hampshire and Honiton in Devon is something of a rural ride.

It cuts through Cranborne Chase Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty - which sounds lovely, but now we'll forever associate with death:

The deadliest motorway on the list is the M6 - which records 93 deaths. We presume most of these will have taken place on the astonishingly picturesque mountainous section en route to Scotland.

Here's the Top 20 roads:

  1. A303 - 425
  2. A419 - 151
  3. A35 - 121
  4. A38 - 118
  5. A1 - 100
  6. M6 - 93
  7. A66 - 68
  8. A417 - 65
  9. M25 - 56
  10. A69 - 53
  11. M5 - 52
  12. M1 - 51
  13. M4 - 47
  14. M27 - 40
  15. M20 - 39
  16. M3 - 37
  17. M62 - 33
  18. M60 - 31
  19. A5 - 29
  20. M180 - 29

You can find the full dataset here. (HT: Sam Coates.)