It has been an exceptional year for viewing the Red Deer in Martindale valley which has been home to one of the oldest native Red Deer Herds in England for over 300 years. Autumn has been so still and clear with the colours from the fells acting as camouflage to the eye, you really need to spend time getting acclimatised to the beauty of the hillside before the deer come into view.
The sound of the rut bounces from fell to fell, the roar akin to an ancient battle cry, heard throughout the Martindale valley over Beda and Place Fell, with the loudest Stag attracting the most Hinds. For the most part Stags and Hinds live separately but they join together for the start of the breeding season - or rut. Feeding mainly on grasses, heather, leaves and twigs the stag barely eat throughout the season and can lose up to 20% of their body weigh as the rut peaks in late October.
As Britain’s largest mammal, Red Deer stags can live up to 10 years old and Hinds up to 12.
The deer play a huge part in valley life at this time of year, and prove to be a great attraction to the locals and visitors alike.
Gardener and Bee Keeper of Howtown