Fallow deer in the park

Deer poking tongue out at Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park's name originates from the Saxon word for deer. An ancient deer park with a herd of almost 200 wild fallow deer it stays true to its roots.

With 270 acres to roam free, a herd of 200 fallow deer can often be spotted at Dyrham Park - munching conkers under the trees in the autumn and nursing their young by the woods in the springtime.

Dyrham Park has been a deer park for centuries; originally called Doerham (the Saxon word for deer) it is still home to these wild animals.

We urge people not to get too close to the animals as it's important that they remain wild. As part of our deer management plan, we need to ensure the deer are safe and have sanctuary from humans so not to get too stressed. There are areas of the park closed to the public where they can go to get this.

Garden and Park Manager Dale Dennehy said: "Our deer are naturally timid and it’s rare we see them getting this close to people. We encourage our visitors not to approach or try and touch the deer. They are wild animals and it’s important that they remain wild. If they became too tame, it could lead to all sorts of problems and would increase the risk of people getting hurt by accident."

Here are some key times you can see the deer in various stages of their life cycle, we invite people to witness this from a safe distance.

Antler shedding (April/May)

Visit in late spring and you'll witness the bucks shedding their antlers.

Fawning season (June/July)

Early summer is when you might see some little fawns finding their feet and by the height of summer they can be seen cooling themselves under one of the park's many trees. It is during this time the male deer regrow antlers ahead of the autumn rut.

Rutting season (Oct/Nov)

Autumn is a dramatic time for our deer as the bucks embark on rutting season. The clang of the antlers and loud grunts can be heard across the park as these deer go head to head. They can often be seen resting up between ruts in a quiet spot in the park.

Deer in winter

It's best for deer feed themselves naturally on parkland grass supplemented by fixed mineral licks to prevent them from becoming to tame. In particularly harsh winter weather when foraging for grass is difficult, we do give them a helping hand and feed them with haylage to maintain health and condition.