We have received a number of messages from members of the public expressing their concern and frustration with the way some people interact with the deer in our parks. So, we decided to share our response here.
Everyone at The Royal Parks has been deeply saddened by the incident that occurred this week.
We are aware of the issues concerning some people’s interaction with the deer. This is an ongoing problem, and teams across The Royal Parks have been working hard to find effective ways to address this.
Every year, we run large awareness campaigns specifically targeting behaviours around the deer during the birthing season and the rut. This includes:
- Extensive signage in the parks themselves (around 70 signs just in Bushy Park), all instructing people to stay at least 50m away from the deer. These are located on all the park gates, in all car parks and on trees, fences and gates inside the park itself.
- Information for visitors on our website.
- Social media posts across all our channels.
- Press releases, which this October generated extensive media coverage including in the Evening Standard, ITV London and BBC Radio 5 Live.
We are also ensuring that the media coverage around the little girl’s injury is used to help prevent similar issues in the future. For example, you can see Bushy Park’s Assistant Park Manager being interviewed about the incident last night on BBC London News and on ITV London News.
Early next year, we are also introducing a pilot volunteer rangers scheme in Bushy and Richmond Parks. We hope to develop a team of 50 volunteer rangers, whose role will be to assist the public and educate them about nature generally, and about appropriate behaviour around wildlife.
However, park regulations can only be enforced by the police, so we always encourage members of the public to report any incidents or inappropriate behaviour directly to them. Please call 101 for non-emergency issues, or 999 for serious incidents.
We hope you will enjoy your time in the parks, and greatly appreciate your respectful approach to the wild deer who make it their home.