Between May and July our female deer give birth and although it is very exciting to see babies around the park we always remind our visitors to respect their privacy and keep a safe distance.
If you see a baby deer in the park do not approach it, even if it appears to be on its own. Its mother won’t be too far away and you could be putting the calf and yourself at risk by going too close.
The Deer Park at Raby is home to two species of deer; Red Deer, the largest British wild land mammal and the smaller Fallow Deer. Both herds include the descendants of deer which have been here since Norman times.
Both herds change their behaviour during the year with the males largely living apart from the females and only coming together during the mating season, or ‘rut’.
It is at this time that the park is a hive of activity and reverberates to the roaring of the Red Stags and the groans of the Fallow Bucks while they challenge their counterparts and spar for the attention of the hinds and does.
Both the Red and Fallow Deer give birth in the early summer and it is then that the hinds and does separate themselves from the herd to drop their young. The Red calves and Fallow fawns, as their young are called, can walk within hours of birth but their mothers leave them hidden and return to feed them until the young are strong enough to follow their mothers.
The Stags and Bucks shed their antlers in the spring and regrow new ones each year through the summer. Red stags grow in a classical style with many points and the Fallow bucks have the very distinctive palmated antlers. The antlers harden in time for the rut in the autumn shedding the velvet, which the antler grows in, as they do so.