Reddish Vale Country Park

Roe Deer

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Roe deer are native to Britain, having been present since before the Mesolithic period.


Forest clearance and over-hunting led to roe deer becoming extinct in England by 1800, but remained in wooded patches in Scotland. Several reintroductions during Victorian times and their subsequent, natural spread aided by an increase in woodland and forest planting in the 20th century has meant that roe deer have become widespread and abundant today.


Roe deer are active throughout the 24-hour period, but make more use of open spaces during the hours of darkness in populations experiencing frequent disturbance. Peak times of activity are at dawn and dusk. Long periods are spent "lying up", which is where the deer lies down to ruminate between feeding bouts.


The rut, or breeding season, occurs between mid-July to mid-August. Bucks become aggressive and maintain exclusive territories around one or more does prior to this period. Fights between bucks can result in serious injury or death, the winner taking over the losers territory or attendant doe. Does do not maintain exclusive territories but live within overlapping home ranges. Males usually mate with several females and females mating with several males has also been observed. Courtship involves chasing between the buck and doe for some time until the doe is ready to mate.


When alarmed bucks and does (males and females) give a short bark, which is often repeated. During the rut does make a high-pitched piping call to attract a buck who makes a rasping noise as he courts the doe.


Adult Size. 10 to 25kg, 60 to 75cm at shoulder (bucks - males slightly larger than does - females).

Lifespan, Max: 16 years. Bucks rarely exceed 5 years, does 6 to 7 years.

Diet, Browsers that activley select different food types including herbs, brambles, ivy, heather, bilberry & coniferous tree shoots.

Roe Deer