Greenwich is the oldest of London's deer parks and has been home to Red and Fallow Deer since it was enclosed.
Originally they wandered around the whole area but over time the deer were moved away from the more popular sections of the Park until they were confined to The Wilderness, by the Flower Garden in the south east of the park. There are paths leading to special viewpoints from which you can enjoy watching the herd of 16 fallow deer and 14 red deer.
The secluded woodland and ancient trees in The Wilderness also provide a sanctuary for other wildlife. Standing and lying dead wood is left to decay naturally, providing important habitat for various invertebrates, especially beetles such as the stag beetle. Stag beetles develop as larvae in decaying stumps for up to 7 years before emerging as adults. Such undisturbed areas are therefore vitally important, not just for invertebrates but also provide a refuge for nesting birds, roosting bats, foxes, wood mice and many other animals. The ancient trees and dead wood habitat are also important for their fungi.
In 2002 the Secret Garden Wildlife Centre was created from a derelict building with the support of the Friends of Greenwich Park. The Centre includes educational equipment and information regarding flora and fauna, a small classroom, kitchenette and toilets. The classroom is also a hide with one-way glass in the windows that allows the viewing of the deer and wildlife without the animals being aware that they are being observed.
- Download a copy of our leaflet Deer in The Royal Parks (PDF 3433.87 KB)