Deer: precautions for dog walkers and other visitors
May to July is the time when the deer in Richmond Park give birth and the females can be aggressive in protecting their young from dogs and people; often those attacked are not aware they are walking between the deer and their young. A dog died recently as a result of a deer attack in the Park.
Dog walkers in Richmond and Bushy Parks are being urged by the Royal Parks to take extra care during the deer birthing season (May-July). This is the official advice:
"Newborn deer are often hidden by their mothers in bracken or long grass. Female deer are very protective of their young and can act defensively if disturbed.
All park users are advised to keep at least 50m away from deer, never get in between two deer and never feed or photograph the deer at close range.
At this time of year, dog walkers are advised to stay away from the parks. If using the parks they should:
- keep their dogs on a lead at all times;
- let go of the lead if pursued by a deer. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them; and
- stay clear of nursery areas, which will be identified by notices placed around the parks."
More information about dogs and deer in the Royal Parks can be found on the Royal Parks website.
To report an injury to a dog or a deer, please contact:
Richmond Park: 0300 061 2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bushy Park: 0300 061 2250 or email email@example.com
Ticks and Lyme Disease
Ticks are also a problem at this time of year and the warm winter has meant more ticks than usual, as many national newspapers have reported. It is advisable to always wear long-sleeve shirts, trousers and closed shoes, stick to paths and avoid walking through bracken and other dense vegetation.
Park management are putting up warning notices on the Park noticeboards, and there is also a Royal Parks leaflet on ticks and the risk of contracting Lyme Disease – you can download this below.