Get a closer look at red deer rutting on the Eastern Moors

Picture by Roger Temple

Picture by Roger Temple

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As the red deer rutting season approaches, the team on the Eastern Moors in the Peak District is busy planning an array of exciting and engaging activities to help visitors get a closer look.

Rutting season, between the middle of September and middle of November, is undoubtedly the best time to view deer on the Eastern Moors, with herds at their largest and most active. Throughout October, visitors to the area will be able to use the expertise of the Eastern Moors staff and volunteers to find the best spots to see red deer and learn more about these magnificent animals.

Bryony Thomson, Eastern Moors Partnership Community Involvement Ranger, said: “Thought to have once been escapees from Chatsworth’s domestic herds, the red deer of the Eastern Moors now roam wild. As Britain’s largest native mammal, this iconic species is a common but incredible sight when taking a walk on the moors.

“Males are bolving – or bellowing - and battling as they compete for hinds, and the population on Big Moor almost doubles as animals gather in from the surrounding woodlands.”

On the fringes of Sheffield and Chesterfield, the Eastern Moors is an area of the Peak District National Park managed in partnership by the RSPB and National Trust. The estate, which is managed for both people and wildlife, includes iconic edges such as Curbar and White Edge as well as Big Moor, the best area in which to view the deer rut.

Care should be taken when viewing or photographing red deer, and a minimum 60 metres distance is recommended to allow the deer to carry on undisturbed with their normal rutting behavior. To enjoy the deer safely and learn more about these spectacular creatures and their role on site, the Eastern Moors Partnership is running events throughout the rutting season:

· Rough Guide to Red Deer, Wednesday 5 October: Join Senior Warden, Kim Strawbridge, for a brisk hike across White Edge and Big Moor to observe the red deer during their annual rut. Learn about the ecology and biology of the UKs largest mammal and how to spot tracks and signs. Suitable for adults and accompanied children aged 12+. Booking essential, 9.30am – 1.00pm, £5pp.

· Eastern Moors Bolving Championships 2016, Saturday 8 October: The brilliant, loud and totally mad annual Red Deer Bolving Championships are back, where competitors try their hand at bolving like a stag. Visitors can watch the madness or challenge the defending champion for a chance to be crowned Bolving Champion 2016. Suitable for all ages. Booking essential, 5.00pm - 7.30pm, £5 adult, £4 child, £16 family.

· Red Deer at Dusk, Friday 14 October: Take an atmospheric evening wander up on to White Edge to watch the red deer during their annual rut. Spot the stags hiding amongst the heather and listen out for their mighty roars as the drama of the rut unfolds. Suitable for all ages. Booking essential, 5.00pm - 7.30pm, £5 adult, £4 child, £16 family.

· Red Deer Watch, Sunday 16 October: Enjoy a wander onto White Edge to observe the Red Deer during the lively annual rut. Join in with a quiz and Red Deer bingo. Suitable for all ages. Booking essential, 2.00 – 4.00pm, £4pp.

For the full program and more information about events on the Eastern Moors, please see www.visit-eastern-moors.org.uk. For more information please contact enquiries@easternmoors.org.uk or call 0114 2891543.