Red Deer – Cervus elaphus


Red deer are Britain’s largest native land mammal and, together with the roe deer, are our only native deer species. All other deer species have been introduced.

In all deer species (except the reindeer) only the male has antlers. Antlers are shed each Spring and immediately a new set starts to grow, taking 16 weeks to reach full size in August. They are made of a type of dense and very solid bone and whilst growing are covered with a hairy skin called velvet which is shed when the antlers have reached their full size for that year.

The stag uses his antlers to fight other males during the mating season, known as the rut, which lasts for three weeks in October. You can see past years antlers from our stag in the reception area.

Size:Male (stag): Head /body length 210 cm, height at shoulder 120 cm. Female (hind): height at shoulder 107 cm.
Description:Male grows branching antlers and has long neck hair in the winter coat. Female smaller, more lightly built, without antlers. A stag reaches full size in 6 – 7 years.
Habitat:Essentially a forest animal, but chiefly found in UK on the moorlands of Scotland and Devon.
Young:Gestation period is 9 months. A single calf is born in May or June and lies hidden in the undergrowth, well camouflaged, during the day for a week or so, when it will join the herd.
Diet:Grass, young heather shoots, moss, young leaves, shoots of trees, and in the winter they will strip bark from trees.
Population:Estimated to be 500,000.
Scroll to Top
New Website - RedSquirrel-CovAppeal03-20


Sadly, during these unprecedented times we have of course had to close to visitors and help minimize the spread of Covid-19 and relieve pressure on the NHS. Our source of income has entirely stopped, whilst many of our costs are ongoing. The feeding and care of our animals is our top priority. Our Head Keeper, Matt and his deputy, Izzy are working very hard and long hours to ensure that our high standards of animal welfare are maintained.

We are appealing for donations to help us to survive during this challenging period. Any donations, large or small, will be very much appreciated. We would love to be here for you when normality returns, so you can enjoy the animals and continue to share our passion for Britain’s wonderful wildlife.

Thank you

Every penny of every donation will go towards the care of our animals.

Payment is made securely by Pay Pal.