A grieving daughter was relieved to learn this week flowers left at her mother’s grave were probably eaten by deer, and not vandalised.

Corsham Police had been investigating after flowers left at Corsham Cemetery by Christine Faulkner, 60, were damaged the next day, with all the heads cleanly removed. The investigation has been called off after several calls to the Wiltshire Times suggested the real culprits were hungry deer.

PCSO Shaun Redmond, of Corsham Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have had animal issues down there before, when there was a headstone badly damaged which turned out to be done by badgers digging underneath it. We will be carrying out patrols and if there is any vandalism we will keep on top of it.”

Mrs Faulkner said: “I would much rather that was deer than vandals. It’s really good news if that is the case.”

Ian Revill, director of Wiltshire College’s Lackham Campus, who manages three herds of deer and lectures on deer management, told the Wiltshire Times: “We can all be quick to see an evil act, but I sincerely believe that this is nothing more sinister than a hungry deer finding what it thinks is a delicious snack and tucking in.”