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12 things you should know about the deer rutting season

Find out about the deer rutting season in Bushy and Richmond Parks, one of UK wildlife’s greatest spectacles.

Find out more »

Don’t take risks with rutting deer, The Royal Parks warns visitors

The Royal Parks is urging visitors to Bushy and Richmond Parks to be extra vigilant and keep a minimum distance of 50 metres away during the annual deer rut.

Find out more »

Wild deer are not Disney creatures, The Royal Parks warns parents

Parents are being urged by The Royal Parks not to put their children in harm’s way by posing with stags during the rutting season.

Find out more »

Deer in Bushy Park

Bushy Park is a deer park. Red and Fallow Deer still roam freely throughout the park, just as they did when Henry VIII used to hunt here.

Find out more »

The deer in Richmond Park and Bushy Park are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Our parks are nature reserves and the herds of wild deer roam freely. Be aware of your surroundings, especially during the rutting season (Sep-Nov) and birthing season (May-July).

For your safety, please keep at least 50 metres away from the deer at all times and don’t touch, feed or attempt to photograph the deer at close range.

By feeding deer you are teaching them to approach humans for food which is dangerous for all visitors. Bushy and Richmond Parks provide ample natural food for the deer which is suited to their nutritional needs. Deer feed on grass, leaves and shoots of trees, and other woody plants. During autumn they feast on chestnuts and acorns too. Feeding deer is in breach of our park regulations and could result in a verbal or formal warning from the police, and even prosecution.

Safety advice for photographers

During the rutting season there is particular interest in the deer. During this time, photographers have been witnessed surrounding deer which can interfere with the course of nature and be very stressful for the deer.

Deer are wild animals and their space must be respected. Always keep a minimum of 50 metres away and use a long lens.

Commercial photographers and those operating photography workshops must apply for a licence in advance. Please see our commercial and filming page for more details.

For information on how to safely photograph deer please read the British Deer Society's Code of Conduct.

Safety advice for dog walkers

Deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances and when the dog is not behaving in a provocative manner. This is particularly true during the rutting (September - October) and the birthing (May - July) seasons. We recommend walking your dog outside the park at these times.

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 a deer does charge, dog walkers are advised to let the dog off the lead, so the dog can run away from danger.

Owners of dogs, who chase wildlife in the parks, including deer, could face criminal prosecution. If you witness a dog chasing a deer contact the on-call police officers for Bushy and Richmond Parks via 07920586546.

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.org.uk.

Advice if you are approached by deer

In the unlikely event you are threatened or charged by a deer,  try to put a vehicle or a substantial barrier (like a big tree) between yourself and the animal. If you have a dog, let it off the lead. The dog will be more capable of escaping when unrestrained, and may actually be the reason that the deer has become agitated in the first place

If you find a deer advancing towards you, do not shout or wave at it. Back off slowly if possible, the deer may be satisfied you have left its personal zone.

Do not picnic or eat food in close proximity to deer. Despite numerous signs warning people not to, some visitors continue to feed deer, even though it is unnecessary, dangerous and in breach of our park regulations. This has resulted in the deer, particularly the fallow deer, learning to approach people in search of food. However, as deer are wild and unpredictable animals this sometimes can result in unfortunate incidents.

12 things you should know about the deer rutting season

Find out about the deer rutting season in Bushy and Richmond Parks, one of UK wildlife’s greatest spectacles.

Find out more »

Don’t take risks with rutting deer, The Royal Parks warns visitors

The Royal Parks is urging visitors to Bushy and Richmond Parks to be extra vigilant and keep a minimum distance of 50 metres away during the annual deer rut.

Find out more »

Wild deer are not Disney creatures, The Royal Parks warns parents

Parents are being urged by The Royal Parks not to put their children in harm’s way by posing with stags during the rutting season.

Find out more »

Deer in Bushy Park

Bushy Park is a deer park. Red and Fallow Deer still roam freely throughout the park, just as they did when Henry VIII used to hunt here.

Find out more »

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