My magical encounter with a wild roe deer
IT’S lovely when your day is book-ended by wildlife – and it happens a lot when you live in our beautiful region.
I was driving to work about 7.30 am and decided to travel around country lanes instead of the motorway.
As I dipped down into woodland, a roe deer wandered slowly in front of the car, about 100 metres ahead.
It made its way into the wood so I pulled up close by to take a look and we stared at each other for about 30 seconds before it set off to do what deer do on spring days.
Later that evening, I was wandering though our local woodland with the dog when I spotted a deer behind a fence to my left. It saw me, leapt the fence about 30 yards ahead and then bounded off.
I just find it heartening to know that these beautiful wild beasts are thriving in our countryside.
In fact, deer are doing so well that there has been management in some areas of the country.
For management, read cull, and landowners do find that increasing deer populations are a nuisance, particularly chomping away at new trees.
Your local Wildlife Trust will deal with their problem by protecting young trees with guards – you will have seen these around the area as it’s a common way to protect saplings.
Of course, the reason why deer populations have grown is down to the fact that there is no natural predator now in the UK.
Any problems have been historically caused by us.
Roe deer, our most common native deer, will be wandering around in ones and twos before their young are born, after spending winter in groups.
Males have shorter antlers, usually with six points, which they have been growing since November. They will lose them in October after using them for summer rutting.
They are mostly visible during dawn and dusk in open country but will stick to the shelter of woodland in daylight hours.
There are more and more reports of deer in urban areas, so don’t be surprised if you spot one.
You will be able to tell a roe deer by its brown coat and white or buff patch on its rump.
But the great thing about roe deer is that they are quite nosy, so if you have your camera you should get a few seconds to get a picture before they vanish. If you don’t have a camera, just delight in the fact that you’re seeing magical wildlife on your own doorstep.
To become a member of the trust, go to the website at www. lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more information about Cheshire Wildlife Trust, call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewildlifetrust. org.uk.
●● Roe deer