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July 2003
Nottinghamshire deer - Survey Results
Deer at dusk in Wollaton Park
Deer at dusk in Wollaton Park
There are four species of deer found in Nottinghamshire.

Dennis Ashcroft, a deer enthusiast, tells us more...
SEE ALSO
Notts Deer Survey:
History of deer

Why do the survey?

Results of survey

Further features:
Deer Spotters Guide
WEB LINKS
Deer UK
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
AIMS OF SURVEY

1. Estimate the numbers and species of deer.

2. Estimate sex ratios.

3. Estimate the numbers of the individual species.

4. Estimate sex ratio’s within the individual species.

5. Record, collate and plot the location, distribution and densities of the deer.

6. Record, collate and plot the distribution and densities of the individual species.

7. By comparing the findings with any obtainable existing/past records and taking
into account the findings of the project report Road Traffic Accidents Involving Deer, study, calculate variations, similarities and patterns that may help highlight pointers towards the future of/for the deer.
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The following table shows the number of reported sightings of each species of wild deer during the duration of this project.

Species Number Sighted
Fallow
257
Roe
38
Muntjac
31
Red
35
Species Number Estimated
Fallow
500+
Roe
75+
Muntjac
100+
Red
100+

Red and Fallow
The larger species of deer (Red and Fallow) appear to have two main hubs near to what remains of the old historical Sherwood Forest.

Sightings of Red
Sightings of Red

They are the areas of Clumber Park, and Clipstone Park. The Red however seem not to have dispersed as much as the Fallow!

Perhaps this is due to the fact their numbers appear to have reduced some what compared to that of the Fallow. Plus they may not be as adaptable or tolerant to humans as Fallow.

The Red deer appear to have stayed within there original area that is in and around Sherwood Forest.

The Fallow appear to have travelled in a south to south westerly direction following a corridor which it appears to have the A614 road as it’s Eastern edge.

Sightings of Fallow
Sightings of Fallow

The corridor still consists of wooded and forested areas bounded by farmland.

There does however appear that there are a number of areas, which forms a type of void! – Area’s surrounded by or has at least three sides on which there are dwellings or buildings of some description.

If this is the case it bears the question! Are they (the deer) the descendants of the original deer which have been forced to migrate in or during the time of the expansion of building for both housing and commercial needs thus they have become trapped in a sort of void?

Roe

It is almost certain as I said earlier that this species has been in Nottinghamshire for a long, long time but because of their size and because they are opt as gregarious as Red or Fallow, the buck being very territorial, and the Does normally being in a family group consisting of Juvenile(s), and fawn(s) was not deemed as a viable resource.

Sightings of Roe
Sightings of Roe

Roe are known browsers especially of young shoots /trees and were accused of carrying out an enormous amount of crop and tree damage. This was sometimes unjustified as their presence alone was enough to attribute the blame to them.

The damaged crop or timber was in some cases a large loss to the estates this earning Roe the classification as vermin leading to them in some areas being hunted by any method virtually to extinction.

Thankfully common sense prevailed and studies led to better understanding resulting in changes to the law this in turn led to new management techniques for the species.

Slowly Roe numbers started to recover and the species started to extend their range once again re-inhabiting historical areas.

Due to their size and the fact that they are more active early morning late evening, normally on the woodland edges or the deep cover of scrub they are or can be hard to spot.

Roe Does are capable of given birth to twins this with all other factors points to the likelihood that there are a larger number of Roe than has been spotted within Nottinghamshire.

Muntjac
There is little doubt that the numbers recorded in Nottinghamshire are the tip of the iceberg!

First introduced to Woburn by the Duke of Bedfordshire, they made their escape and rapidly expanded their range first into the neighbouring counties.

Sightings of Muntjac
Sightings of Muntjac
Being only 18 inches to shoulder they tend to be able to make their way through any low tangle of undergrowth. They are extremely agile can jump wide ditches and clear fences of 3 feet or more, in fact in some ways they are like mice, if they can get their nose through they can get their whole body through.

Unlike most species of deer Muntjac are prolific breeders! The Doe can give birth and within 24 hours she is ready to receive a buck (male) within 24 Hours.

Very much like Roe, Muntjac are not gregarious, the bucks are normally alone the does are normally accompanied by a juvenile and a newborn. Once she gives birth again the juvenile is forced out and the new born takes its place the then new fawn becomes the new born and so it goes on.

Is it any wonder that their numbers are increasing rapidly and their need to expand their range is essential?

Muntjacs are very versatile and adaptive. They use the system of railways, roads, rivers, canals, allotments and other recreational areas to travel along and expand their range.

Taking into account the initial location from which they escaped and the pattern of the sightings within Nottinghamshire it is reasonable to assume they have entered Nottinghamshire via the borders of Leicester and Lincolnshire. The direction of travel appears to be north to north-westerly.

Once again it is absolutely certain that the actual numbers of Muntjac within Nottinghamshire are a long way higher than that reflected within this project.

Read about the history of deer in Notts >>

Become a deer spotter. Use our deer spotters guide >>

The contents of this report remain the copyright of Dennis Ashcroft and may not be reproduced, distributed or passed on to other individuals or organisations without his permission in writing.

The information is offered strictly without responsibility. All recommendations, figures, data or other specific details are made without any guarantee on the part of the author, who also disclaims any liability incurred in connection with the use of this data or specific details.
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