Fallow deer population in Sussex


Oh deer, oh deer, oh deer…

There are lots and lots of deer in and around Bepton. You’ll see large herds of Fallow, small groups of Roe Deer and if you keep your eyes peeled – the occasional glimpse of Muntjac deer. There are plenty of Muntjac in and around Midhurst and the Severals, we often see them on winter evenings on the drive home. Fallow Deer are perfectly suited to life on The South Downs, with arable areas for nighttime grazing and woodland for cover during the day.

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Midhurst Muntjac Deer

Muntjac Deer in Midhurst

I had a wonderful view of a Muntjac Deer on the way home this evening. The little chap – no bigger than a hare – was standing by the side of Bepton Road a mile south of Midhurst, so I pulled up to take a good look. He didn’t appear to be even slightly bothered by me, and wandered leisurely across the road into the bushes on the other side. They’re quite common around us – and more often heard rather than seen.

Muntjac are not native to the UK, and were introduced from China in the early 1900s to Woburn Park in Hertfordshire. Some of the deer jumped the fence, and today’s population of Muntjacs are nearly all descendants of these intrepid escapees!

Photo is from Creative Commons