Red Deer - Cervus elaphus


Britain's largest land mammal, the male (stag) is larger than the female (hind) and has well developed branching antlers. Summer coat is red brown but it becomes more grey/brown in winter.

Photo ID?

This species occupies a range of habitats including grassland, woodland and upland moors.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

The male's antlers are shed each February, reappear in the spring and become larger with each successive season. Lives in separate sex herds for much of the year, and spends much of the day resting or wallowing in mud, being most active from dusk to dawn. The autumn 'rut' precedes mating.

UK Status

Red Deer are patchily distributed in the UK; they are widespread and locally common in the north of Scotland. Populations in Scotland and the north-west of England represent native stock, whereas in south-west Scotland and most of England they are likely to be escapees from deer parks. Conservation efforts have resulted in an increase of Red Deer populations.

VC55 Status

Park herds only in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map