Deer are wild animals and can be unpredictable. It is dangerous to approach them, especially in May, June and July when nursing mothers are protecting their young and between September and November, when the males are rutting.
This year, due to the period of cold weather, the deer are giving birth to their young before the bracken growth is high. Bracken is important to the deer that use it to hide their young. The lack of shelter will mean an anxious period for the young mothers.
Deer react defensively to dogs who may inadvertently roam into areas where the young deer are hidden. Deer draw no distinction between different breeds of dog or their age. They may seek to chase away or attack dogs from quite some distance.
We advise that dog walkers avoid deer, particularly in the nursery areas and keep their dogs on a lead elsewhere. There are clear deer warning signs in the parks providing deer advice. If you are approached we recommend that you retrace your steps. Dog owners might wish to consider walking elsewhere for the next few weeks.
It is an offence to allow a dog to chase the deer.
Find out more about Deer in the Royal Parks.