Deer diary: The Attingham herd

Eight fallow deer grazing in the deer park at Attingham Park

Attingham’s Deer Park was created in 1798 as part of Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick’s grand improvements to the Mansion and grounds. Today, around 200 fallow deer, descended from the original herd live in the park. Take a stroll along the Deer Park, Woodland, or World War II walk for a glimpse of Attingham's popular residents.

Deer diary: Summer 

After shedding their antlers around April time, moving into May the buck’s antlers are beginning to grow back, with a thin layer of ‘fuzzy’ skin over them. Our Ranger team are monitoring the herd as May progresses, as the herd's fawns are born in June each year.

The first fawns of the Attingham herd are usually born in the first week of June. Fawns are rarely seen in the first few weeks of their life, and they will keep away from the busier areas of the Deer Park, retreating into the deer sanctuary, away from public areas. The fawns’ natural instinct is to remain still and quiet, hidden in bracken or long grass where their mothers, the does of the herd, can keep a close eye on them and protect them if needed. 
 

" Summer is a magical time for the herd – look out for the bucks basking in the summer sunshine near the Deer Park Bridge, on the main path through the Deer Park."
- Colin Morris, Area Ranger, is Attingham's deer herd manager

A sight to behold - but please do not touch

Fawns give off little or no scent in the first few weeks after being born. If you spot a fawn on your visit, do not approach it, and under no circumstances touch it as human scent can be transferred to the fawn and may cause the mother to abandon the baby. If you are concerned about a fawn or any of the herd please let one of the Attingham team know who will contact the Rangers.

Young fawns are rarely seen in their first few weeks, often staying still and quiet in long grass while their mothers' keep watch
A fawn in the grass in the Deer Park at Attingham Park
Young fawns are rarely seen in their first few weeks, often staying still and quiet in long grass while their mothers' keep watch

A love of deer

The deer have always had a special place at the heart of Attingham. Thomas 8th Lord Berwick was particularly fond of the deer and fed them daily, with special favourites eating out of his hand. Thomas lived at Attingham from the early 1920s until his death in 1947. Following his wishes, his ashes and those of his wife Teresa (who lived at Attingham until her death in 1972) were placed at the memorial in the Deer Park, in a glade with views of the estate.

Following on from Thomas, the deer herd are today carefully managed by Attingham's rangers.

Thomas, the 8th Lord Berwick, feeding the fallow deer
The 8th Lord Berwick out in the Deer Park feeding the fallow deer
Thomas, the 8th Lord Berwick, feeding the fallow deer