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.

    Identification difficulty

    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

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map