SEPTEMBER 2018 – WALK EVERY DAY FOR A WEEK CHALLENGE – DAY 1

After a summer break, I was looking forward to resuming my monthly Walk Challenge by going on a deer walk at Longshaw with my friend Kev.

We met up in the morning at the National Trust Longshaw’s car park. We made our way towards the White Edge Lodge and onto Big Moor following up a walk along the White Edge and back to the car park. 

Wild Red Deer

There are about 170 wild red deer in Longshaw and its surrounding areas. It is somehow magical to see them wildly roam the countryside. Easily recognised by their antlers, stags (male) are up to 130cm tall and can weigh up to 240kg. Hinds (females) are smaller and don’t have antlers. 

Deer walk at Longshaw in the Peak District

Rutting Season

Rutting (mating) season usually starts in mid-September and runs until mid-October.  Males compete for females by roaring or bellowing.  If roaring isn’t enough to decide who’s the dominant male, stags will size each other up with ‘parallel walking’ and if they are equally matched a full-blown fight can break out.  Fighting involves chasing each other and battling with the antlers. 

Rutting activity is most intense soon after dawn, though some activity occurs throughout the day. Deer are interesting to watch because of their behaviour changes as the rut progress.
Stags take two years to be sexually mature but are unlikely to be successful at mating until they are at least five years old.
But remember that male deer are pumped full of testosterone and highly aggressive; in parks, attacks on dogs are not uncommon and sometimes people are also injured. So don’t get too close.

Deer Walk at Longshaw in the Peak District

 

Deer walk at Longshaw in the Peak District

White Edge Lodge looking pretty at the beginning of autumn. You can rent it for holidays from National Trust. 

Deer Walk at Longshaw in the Peak District

I am actually doing the same walk on Friday and also hoping to return in October to try my luck and see them again. It is a truly amazing experience to see them in the wild. We heard them bellowing too which is quite something. Very loud and deep, an experience I will never forget.