Supporting the deer
For hundreds of years, deer herds have roamed the historic landscapes of Richmond, Bushy and Greenwich Parks. The bloodline of the herd in Greenwich can be traced back to the original herd introduced by Henry VIII in 1510.
Richmond and Bushy Parks have around 1,000 red and fallow deer and for many they symbolise a rural haven within London, allowing visitors to feel as if they are in the heart of the countryside.
The deer also shape the character of the Parks. As they graze, they maintain the open swathes of land by nibbling at new seedlings and preserve the precious acid grassland habitat for a multitude of other species.
The deer are dependent on careful monitoring and professional management by Royal Parks’ wildlife specialists. This includes:
- winter feed – a supplementary diet of hay, vitamins and minerals
- veterinary costs
- production and installation of “tree cradles” that protect young trees from the deer, without restricting the freedom of the herds.