The perfect holiday experience in Yorkshire is to enjoy the delights of a home-from-home stay at gorgeous Spring Cottage and while on holiday there, experience a day’s workshop with the guys from Yorkshire Coast Nature.
We’ve been working together for while now and I’m delighted that Richard Baines and award winning photographer Steve Race from Yorkshire Coast Nature, shared their knowledge and images from one of their deer workshops at Studley Royal Deer Park, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Just imagine this could be you, getting up close and personal to these amazing creatures. Don’t forget your camera!
Studley Royal Deer Park
Located on the National Trust’s Studley Royal Park estate and spanning 800 acres, its ancient pasture woodland, with a wealth of flora and fauna (some trees over 300 years old) is home to over 500 Red, Fallow and Sika Deer.
The Red Deer is the fourth largest deer species worldwide and has a reddish-brown coat. These deer often stay in single-sex groups for most of the year but during the mating season, or rut, mature stags will compete for the attentions of females. Generally the stag is larger than the female and has antlers that begin growing in spring and are shed at the end of winter. During the rut, from August into early winter, stags use these antlers to fight for dominance. They will also often be heard ‘roaring’ during the rut to keep their harem of females together. Each female commonly produces one offspring per year. Red deer fawns are born spotted but the spots will be lost by the end of summer.
Males, or bucks, have broad, shovel-shaped antlers when mature which can grow up to 70cm long. During the rut the bucks spread out and the females move amongst them. They remain ungrouped throughout the rutting season but for the rest of the year they are found together in groups of up to 150.
Fallow Deer are smaller than Red Deer and are agile, fast animals that can run up to 30mph and jump up to 1.75m high and 5m in length.
Sika Deer are often found in coniferous woodlands and heaths on acidic soils. Like Fallow Deer the coat of the Sika can range from mahogany to black with some rarer white individuals. Usually the coat is reddish brown with a dark dorsal stripe and white spots. The Sika is one of the few species that does not lose its spots upon reaching maturity.
Sika Deer are fairly unsocial, tending to be solitary most of the year, only coming together to mate. The rut occurs from the end of September to November. Typically the male buck will defend a territory but may switch to harem-holding when a group of hinds has been assembled. The strongest bucks have territories up to 2 hectares. The bucks have stout, upright antlers which can be more than 80cm in length with distinctive manes throughout the rut. Typically the hind will produce a single calf born between early May and late June.
Yorkshire Coast Nature
Yorkshire Coast Nature’s friendly and informative guides, run wildlife safari trips and photography workshops in the Studley Royal Park area and also across the North York Moors, the coast and East Yorkshire. For more information visit their Yorkshire Coast Nature website.
On your return from your experience with Yorkshire’s nature, the comforts and luxuries of Spring Cottage are waiting for you. Unwind in the peaceful cottage garden, relax on the squishy sofa in front of the fire or grab a glass of fizz and soak in the roll top bath. Please visit our website to find out more about Spring Cottage.
We can even arrange for you to be collected from the cottage and to provide you with a picnic lunch.
Now that’s what I call the perfect holiday experience!
Do you want more ideas and inspiration on where to visit and what to do while on holiday in Yorkshire? Then click here and download a copy of my guide to North Yorkshire’s hidden gems, to help you get the most out of your time here: