My mag­i­cal en­counter with a wild roe deer

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

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

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