Deer in Richmond Park

Richmond Park is a national nature reserve and deer park with 630 Red and Fallow deer roaming freely since 1529.

The deer have played a major role in the park's history and have shaped the landscape too.

Our special grassland habitat depends on grazing and the parkland trees have a distinctive 'browse line' as the deer eat all the leaves and twigs growing below about 1.5 metres. Deer grazing also prevents tree seedlings from growing, keeping the grassland open.

During the autumn the deer 'rut' (breeding season) takes place. The Red stags and Fallow bucks compete for females (known as hinds and does respectively). At this time, the large males roar, bark and clash antlers in a spectacular way in an attempt to fight off rivals and attract as many females as possible. The young are born May - July and are hidden by their mothers amongst the bracken and long grass. The young are very vulnerable at this time and their mothers, being sensitive to disturbance, will defend their babies.

The deer are wild animals - please keep at least 50 metres away from the deer and be aware of your surroundings so that you do not come between two rutting stags or a mother and her calf.

Do not touch, feed or photograph the deer at close range.

Deer advice for dog walkers in Richmond Park

Deer are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Richmond Park is a nature reserve with herds of wild deer roaming freely.

Recently, the number of owners choosing to walk their dogs in Richmond Park has increased considerably.

Deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances and when the dog is not behaving in a provocative manner.

This is particularly during the rutting (September - October) and the birthing (May - July) seasons. We recommend walking your dog outside the park at these times.

In 2012, The Royal Parks has received reports of three incidents in Richmond Park where dogs sustained injuries, one of which was fatal. During the same period three deer have been killed by dogs.

If you choose, at your own risk, to walk your dog in the park at these times, it is advisable to keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the park where you are close to exit gates.

If pursued by a deer, let go of the lead. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them.

Owners of dogs, who chase wildlife in the parks, including deer, could face criminal prosecution.

Find out more about Dogs in the Royal Parks [PDF 950.16kB].

To report an injury to a dog or a deer, please telephone 0300 061 2200 or email richmond@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk.

Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

Woodlands and parks with deer such as Richmond Park and Bushy Park, can attract ticks. To familiarise yourself with symptoms and things you can do to prevent tick bites, view the Tick Bites and Lyme Disease leaflet (PDF 459.83kB).  

Management of deer in the Royal Parks

As a member of the British Deer Society, The Royal Parks takes deer welfare very seriously. Deer populations are actively managed to keep herds at a sustainable size.

If animals were not removed, food would become scarce and more animals would ultimately suffer. Without population control there would be other welfare issues such as low body fat, malnutrition and high incidence of death from exposure to cold in winter. Attempting to maintain too many deer within a restricted park area would soon lead to a build-up of parasites and other pathogens causing disease in the deer.

The Royal Parks does not administer contraceptives to deer through feed or injections. There are no contraceptives licensed for use in the UK. These techniques are still in the experimental stage in both Europe and the USA and there are concerns that contraceptives introduced through feed and not consumed by the deer herd would impact negatively on other species. To inject contraceptives requires a high degree of human intervention which is highly stressful for the deer as they are not able to be herded like farmed animals. In consultation with our veterinary advisor, however, we are carefully monitoring the worldwide development of technology to limit deer populations and will continue to keep our policies for the management of deer under review. Where the opportunity arises to move deer to other deer parks we do so. This opportunity is rare given that wild populations of all species of deer are increasing nationally.

The British Deer Society and the Deer Initiative of England and Wales fully endorse humane culling as best practice in deer herd management and The Royal Parks is an expert manager of enclosed wild deer herds. The deer in the Royal Parks are under veterinary supervision and all aspects of their welfare are monitored regularly

Further information

Deer in The Royal Parks (PDF 3.35MB)


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Deer in Richmond Park

Deer in Richmond Park

Richmond Park is a national nature reserve and deer park with 630 Red and Fallow deer roaming freely since 1529.

The deer have played a major role in the park's history and have shaped the landscape too.

Our special grassland habitat depends on grazing and the parkland trees have a distinctive 'browse line' as the deer eat all the leaves and twigs growing below about 1.5 metres. Deer grazing also prevents tree seedlings from growing, keeping the grassland open.

During the autumn the deer 'rut' (breeding season) takes place. The Red stags and Fallow bucks compete for females (known as hinds and does respectively). At this time, the large males roar, bark and clash antlers in a spectacular way in an attempt to fight off rivals and attract as many females as possible. The young are born May - July and are hidden by their mothers amongst the bracken and long grass. The young are very vulnerable at this time and their mothers, being sensitive to disturbance, will defend their babies.

The deer are wild animals - please keep at least 50 metres away from the deer and be aware of your surroundings so that you do not come between two rutting stags or a mother and her calf.

Do not touch, feed or photograph the deer at close range.

Deer advice for dog walkers in Richmond Park

Deer are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Richmond Park is a nature reserve with herds of wild deer roaming freely.

Recently, the number of owners choosing to walk their dogs in Richmond Park has increased considerably.

Deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances and when the dog is not behaving in a provocative manner.

This is particularly during the rutting (September - October) and the birthing (May - July) seasons. We recommend walking your dog outside the park at these times.

In 2012, The Royal Parks has received reports of three incidents in Richmond Park where dogs sustained injuries, one of which was fatal. During the same period three deer have been killed by dogs.

If you choose, at your own risk, to walk your dog in the park at these times, it is advisable to keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the park where you are close to exit gates.

If pursued by a deer, let go of the lead. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them.

Owners of dogs, who chase wildlife in the parks, including deer, could face criminal prosecution.

Find out more about Dogs in the Royal Parks [PDF 950.16kB].

To report an injury to a dog or a deer, please telephone 0300 061 2200 or email richmond@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk.

Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

Woodlands and parks with deer such as Richmond Park and Bushy Park, can attract ticks. To familiarise yourself with symptoms and things you can do to prevent tick bites, view the Tick Bites and Lyme Disease leaflet (PDF 459.83kB).  

Management of deer in the Royal Parks

As a member of the British Deer Society, The Royal Parks takes deer welfare very seriously. Deer populations are actively managed to keep herds at a sustainable size.

If animals were not removed, food would become scarce and more animals would ultimately suffer. Without population control there would be other welfare issues such as low body fat, malnutrition and high incidence of death from exposure to cold in winter. Attempting to maintain too many deer within a restricted park area would soon lead to a build-up of parasites and other pathogens causing disease in the deer.

The Royal Parks does not administer contraceptives to deer through feed or injections. There are no contraceptives licensed for use in the UK. These techniques are still in the experimental stage in both Europe and the USA and there are concerns that contraceptives introduced through feed and not consumed by the deer herd would impact negatively on other species. To inject contraceptives requires a high degree of human intervention which is highly stressful for the deer as they are not able to be herded like farmed animals. In consultation with our veterinary advisor, however, we are carefully monitoring the worldwide development of technology to limit deer populations and will continue to keep our policies for the management of deer under review. Where the opportunity arises to move deer to other deer parks we do so. This opportunity is rare given that wild populations of all species of deer are increasing nationally.

The British Deer Society and the Deer Initiative of England and Wales fully endorse humane culling as best practice in deer herd management and The Royal Parks is an expert manager of enclosed wild deer herds. The deer in the Royal Parks are under veterinary supervision and all aspects of their welfare are monitored regularly

Further information

Deer in The Royal Parks (PDF 3.35MB)

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Deer in Richmond Park

Richmond Park is a national nature reserve and deer park with 630 Red and Fallow deer roaming freely since 1529.

The deer have played a major role in the park's history and have shaped the landscape too.

Our special grassland habitat depends on grazing and the parkland trees have a distinctive 'browse line' as the deer eat all the leaves and twigs growing below about 1.5 metres. Deer grazing also prevents tree seedlings from growing, keeping the grassland open.

During the autumn the deer 'rut' (breeding season) takes place. The Red stags and Fallow bucks compete for females (known as hinds and does respectively). At this time, the large males roar, bark and clash antlers in a spectacular way in an attempt to fight off rivals and attract as many females as possible. The young are born May - July and are hidden by their mothers amongst the bracken and long grass. The young are very vulnerable at this time and their mothers, being sensitive to disturbance, will defend their babies.

The deer are wild animals - please keep at least 50 metres away from the deer and be aware of your surroundings so that you do not come between two rutting stags or a mother and her calf.

Do not touch, feed or photograph the deer at close range.

Deer advice for dog walkers in Richmond Park

Deer are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Richmond Park is a nature reserve with herds of wild deer roaming freely.

Recently, the number of owners choosing to walk their dogs in Richmond Park has increased considerably.

Deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances and when the dog is not behaving in a provocative manner.

This is particularly during the rutting (September - October) and the birthing (May - July) seasons. We recommend walking your dog outside the park at these times.

In 2012, The Royal Parks has received reports of three incidents in Richmond Park where dogs sustained injuries, one of which was fatal. During the same period three deer have been killed by dogs.

If you choose, at your own risk, to walk your dog in the park at these times, it is advisable to keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the park where you are close to exit gates.

If pursued by a deer, let go of the lead. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them.

Owners of dogs, who chase wildlife in the parks, including deer, could face criminal prosecution.

Find out more about Dogs in the Royal Parks [PDF 950.16kB].

To report an injury to a dog or a deer, please telephone 0300 061 2200 or email richmond@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk.

Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

Woodlands and parks with deer such as Richmond Park and Bushy Park, can attract ticks. To familiarise yourself with symptoms and things you can do to prevent tick bites, view the Tick Bites and Lyme Disease leaflet (PDF 459.83kB).  

Management of deer in the Royal Parks

As a member of the British Deer Society, The Royal Parks takes deer welfare very seriously. Deer populations are actively managed to keep herds at a sustainable size.

If animals were not removed, food would become scarce and more animals would ultimately suffer. Without population control there would be other welfare issues such as low body fat, malnutrition and high incidence of death from exposure to cold in winter. Attempting to maintain too many deer within a restricted park area would soon lead to a build-up of parasites and other pathogens causing disease in the deer.

The Royal Parks does not administer contraceptives to deer through feed or injections. There are no contraceptives licensed for use in the UK. These techniques are still in the experimental stage in both Europe and the USA and there are concerns that contraceptives introduced through feed and not consumed by the deer herd would impact negatively on other species. To inject contraceptives requires a high degree of human intervention which is highly stressful for the deer as they are not able to be herded like farmed animals. In consultation with our veterinary advisor, however, we are carefully monitoring the worldwide development of technology to limit deer populations and will continue to keep our policies for the management of deer under review. Where the opportunity arises to move deer to other deer parks we do so. This opportunity is rare given that wild populations of all species of deer are increasing nationally.

The British Deer Society and the Deer Initiative of England and Wales fully endorse humane culling as best practice in deer herd management and The Royal Parks is an expert manager of enclosed wild deer herds. The deer in the Royal Parks are under veterinary supervision and all aspects of their welfare are monitored regularly

Further information

Deer in The Royal Parks (PDF 3.35MB)