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Chair’s Welcome

I am delighted as Chair of the Friends to welcome you to our website. Bushy Park and Home Park are two wonderful large green oases in the south west corner of London. Feeling wild, they are natural places with ancient histories, fascinating heritage and superb wildlife. Both are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) containing rare species. These are places to be enjoyed and conserved. Which is why the Friends exist, campaigning, supporting and protecting the parks, and enhancing visitors’ enjoyment with information, advice and guidance.

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Caution urged during deer-birthing season

The Royal Parks advises dog walkers and other visitors to act with caution as deer birthing season begins

The Royal Parks is recommending dog owners who walk their pets in Richmond and Bushy Parks to consider walking them outside the parks during the deer birthing season (May-July).

At this time of year the young are born and are hidden by their mothers amongst the bracken and long grass. This year the cold spring has delayed the emergence of the bracken and there is less shelter than normal for the young deer. Females and their young are very vulnerable and sensitive to disturbance at this time and the females can be very protective and aggressive.

It is not advisable to walk your dog in the parks during this time. If you choose to, at your own risk, please keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the park where you are close to exit gates. If pursued by a deer, let go of the lead. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them.

Visitors coming to the parks without their pets are still advised to keep at least 50m away from the deer, never getting in between two deer and never feeding or photographing the deer at close range.
Simon Richards, Park Manager for Richmond and Bushy Parks, said: “Deer have roamed freely in The Royal Parks since 1529 when the parks were Royal hunting grounds. The gentle grazing of the Red and Fallow deer continue to shape the landscape by maintaining the grasslands.

“Deer are wild animals though and can behave unpredictably. Observing their reactions and updating our advice to park visitors where necessary, is an important part of making sure everyone stays alert and safe, particularly during the birthing seasons and mating. We remind visitors to observe the notices displayed across both parks.”
More information about dogs and deer in the Royal Parks can be found on The Royal Parks website

To report an injury to a dog or a deer, please contact phone 0300 061 2250 or email bushy@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk

Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Latest report

A perimeter walk of Home Park led by Nicholas Garbutt was enjoyed by over 45 people on 2nd September.

Full report...