Studley Royal deer park

The deer park at Studley Royal Water Gardens, North Yorkshire

The evocative ruins of the Cistercian abbey are set beside the grounds of Studley Royal, a medieval deer park in Yorkshire. Little wonder it was declared Yorkshire’s first World Heritage Site.

Did you know we have three types of deer in the park?

The 800 acre Studley Royal deer park is home to 500 deer and there are three different types. Here's what you need to know about the deer in the park. 

Red deer

These are the largest in Studley Royal park. They’re indigenous to the UK and are usually a dark reddish brown. The male is called a stag and have large antlers shaped like tree branches. The female is called a hind and the young are referred to as calves.

Deer in the deer park at Studley Royal

Fallow deer

These deer originate from France and were brought over during the Norman conquest. They were introduced to Studley Royal at the end of the 1600s. They’re a pale brown colour with white spots, but you do occasionally see an all-white or dark colouring, too. The male is called a buck, and have ‘palmate’ antlers (broad and flat). The female is known as a doe and her young as a fawn.

Manchurian Sika deer

These are the smallest and most timid deer in Studley Royal park. They originate in the Far East and have a white, heart-shaped marking on their bottom. The males are called stags with antlers like tree branches. The females are called hinds and their young are calves. 

Sika deer in Studley Royal deer park
Sika deer in Studley Royal deer park

Deer Facts

  • Deer strip off bark and use it like chewing gum. This means the trees in the deer park need protecting with metal railings for up to 40 years.
  • The velvet hanging from the stag or bucks antlers in September is where the phrase ‘in tatters’ comes from.
  • Deer eat short grass, which means you can’t graze deer and sheep together as they’ll be competing for food. You can graze deer with cattle, however, as cattle eat longer grasses.