Deer diary: The Attingham herd

Bucks 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: Winter

From the middle of November Attingham’s Rangers start to feed the deer their daily winter rations to help them through the winter. We start feeding the deer in November to get them used to being fed before winter really gets underway.

Initially, as winter begins, the bucks will hang back from the feeding, they are still resting after the autumn rut, but over the first few weeks of November and December will start to join the heard. The deer are fed whole fodder beet and deer nuts.

Attingham's Rangers feed the deer during the winter months
An Attingham Ranger feeding the deer herd
Attingham's Rangers feed the deer during the winter months

Winter is an important time for the herd’s youngsters born last summer as they learn about the hierarchy in the herd, and learn important skills to survive during the winter.

Following the herd they will learn how to find food in the winter months, as well as where they can shelter from the cold easterly wind that sweeps through the Deer Park.

The Attingham deer are fed throughout the winter
A young deer at winter deer feeding at Attingham
The Attingham deer are fed throughout the winter

See the deer being fed

Deer feeding takes place in different places across the estate throughout the week but on Saturdays and Sundays from now until March 2019, and during the Shropshire School Christmas holidays and February half-term you can watch the deer being fed at 2pm in the Deer Park. 

 

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