Monday, 26 November 2012

Estate Apprentice

A herd of spectators head up to the feeding station...
This November the ranger team held three "Estate Apprentice" events here at Lyme Park. They offered children (a.k.a. mini-rangers) a chance to experience first hand what it's like to feed our herd of fallow deer.

...Meanwhile ranger Al fends off the fallow deer...
We've been overwhelmed by the interest the events have attracted. Numbers have ranged from 60 up to 170! A fee of £2 per child was proferred, with the donations going towards funding the fallow deers' winter feed.   
                    ...Until it's time for the Estate Apprentices to fill the troughs,
                         under the watchful eye of ranger Doug...
Once the apprentices had filled the troughs, the deer jostled for position. The pecking order was nervously negotiated through a combination of clashing antlers and territorial posturing. The estate apprentices (along with their parents, of course) were treated to front row seats for this fallow feeding frenzy.

Fallow deer FACTFILE:
  • Latin name: Dama dama
  • The Fallow deer are an ornamental deer, originally from the Mediterranean
  • They were introduced to British parks and forests by the Normans in the 11th century
  • The original Lyme Park herd were present from the 17th century, but died out in the early 20th century.
  • The current herd have been present at Lyme Park since the early 1980’s.

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