The Red Deer rut always makes autumn an exciting season and what better place to see this amazing natural spectacle than on the atmospheric Eastern Moors in the Peak District.
This autumn, visitors to the Eastern Moors, found on the edges of Sheffield, were offered two wonderful opportunities to see the red deer with the added bonus of staff and volunteers on hand to answer any questions. On Tuesday 29 October, the Red Deer in Love & at War walk and wonder took people along Curbar and White Edges, with great views of red deer within the stunning moorland landscape. On Sunday 3 November, the Red Deer Watch gave families an opportunity to feel close to the action, using telescopes and binoculars to view the exciting activity.
Many hinds were seen with this year's calves, along with young males and mature stags supporting spectacular antlers. Despite the rain, visitors witnessed a bellowing stag and some young males trying their luck. The rain soaked stags showed they had a similar technique to dogs as they shook their bodies to rid themselves of the shower.
The Eastern Moors, part of the Peak District National Park, is an upland landscape rich in wildlife, from allusive water voles to captivating adders, golden-ringed dragonflies to the mighty red deer. Katherine Clarke, Visitor Services Manager for the Eastern Moors Partnership, said: “Red deer are our largest British wild mammal but so many people don’t realise they are here on the Eastern Moors. They are so camouflaged people walk straight past them.
“The deer rut is a time where the deer are possibly at their most visible and we want to give people an opportunity to view them at their finest. We are delighted that so many people joined us to find out more about this stunning beast living right on their doorstep!”
The rutting season takes place from late September to November on the Eastern Moors. Stags compete for access to the hinds – the female red deer - by engaging in elaborate displays of dominance. Hinds give birth to single calves from late May to June.
As a site with almost entirely open access and a network of bridleways and footpaths, plus internationally renowned climbing edges, the Eastern Moors is a place where people can get close to some of the UK’s most beautiful wildlife.
The Red Deer events proved so popular, we have decided to repeat them next year, with additional events including an evening walk and even a 'bolving' competition, where people can come along and show off their red deer stag bolving (bellowing) techniques!
To find out more keep an eye on our facebook page, www.facebook.com, search Eastern Moors, and on our What's On pages on our website, www.easternmoors.org.uk.