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.
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.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially during the rutting season (September - October) and the birthing (May - July) season.
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.
Safety advice for dog walkers
The deer in our parks are wild unpredictable animals that roam freely.
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.
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 go of the lead so the dog can run away from danger. In this circumstance the deer is very unlikely to give chase; they simply want the dog to be a safe distance from their young.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.