Friday 9 October 2015

Nature Study extra: Deer

We have just had a trip to the West Country. A friend recommended that we visit the South West Deer Study Centre so we booked our tour and drove off down winding lanes, where thankfully we didn't meet a tractor, and arrived at the Centre.

The Centre is run by Mike Gage who has worked with deer for years and hand reared many of those that we saw.
The hand reared deer are tame. We were able to touch them and feed them. Youngest Son was in his element!

Now, it so happened, that our trip was in the middle of rutting season which meant that the sounds and smells of the deer were intensified. The stags can become quite aggressive at this time and don't eat, drink or sleep for about a month until the season is over and the does are pregnant. The stags running with herds of does were behind wire fences

but close enough to be able to see these splendid creatures.

This is a 100 acre site so there was a fair amount of walking on uneven ground. We appreciated on a clear autumn day! I was glad that we missed the previous day when there had been tipping rain.

We loved this trip and recommend it. Do note that visits have to be booked in advance. There is no specific charge but the Centre appreciate donations from visitors as there are a fair number of expenses running the place. We found that they were very welcoming towards us as home educators and said that they have had groups of home educators visiting before.

Other places where we have enjoyed seeing deer are

  • Knole Park
  • Richmond Park
  • Greenwich Park
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