Red deer are Britain’s largest native land mammal, having migrated from mainland Europe over 11,000 years ago. Although red deer were once a familiar sight in the British countryside, vast scale deforestation and over hunting eventually confined populations to the Scottish Highlands and the Royal Deer Parks of England. This resulted in wild populations becoming virtually extinct. In recent times the wild population of red deer has bounced back considerably, due to intentional releases and escapees from the deer parks. Without any natural predators to keep the population down, they have become so abundant they are even considered pests in some regions!
The Eastern Moors of the Peak District National Park are home to a large healthy population of reds, thought to have escaped from the nearby Chatsworth Estate. This population has grown from just a handful in the 1980s to an estimated 300+ in the Eastern Moors area, with the largest population centred around Big Moor and the Longshaw Estate. For most of the year they are spread throughout the neighbouring countryside and can even be seen on the outskirts of Sheffield. In the Autumn, typically the end of September until early November, the deer return to the moors to participate in the annual rut. Here the stags engaging in fierce and sometimes fatal battles to establish their right to mate with the hinds.
Join me for a Red Deer Photography workshop to catch the best of the action.Read more