The female Roe, on our back “lawn”
Our back garden in Bristol is becoming increasingly wild, largely because I’m far more of a naturalist than a I am a gardener. We live in the city’s outer suburbs and, although there are other houses all around, there is also a lot of unmanaged woodland, including that along the track of a disused railway that runs behind our back fence. When I moved in here in 1990, the elderly couple next door could still remember the steam trains passing just behind our properties.
And, because of our garden’s wildness, its quiet and its seclusion, we often see wild deer from our kitchen window. Most common are Muntjacs, which are small deer that were introduced into the UK from China in the 1800s, and the third image in this post shows a mother and calf beside our garden path earlier this year.
But we also see Roe Deer, the smallest native species in the UK, and on 25 June we were very pleased to be visited by a mother with her calf. The mother Roe is shown above, and with her calf below. We have also seen Roe stags, notably one that, very early one morning, was enjoying eating our neighbour’s rose blossoms.
Its very good to see these deer, both in terms of interest and – in these sad days – in terms of lifting our spirits too. But we also feel a real sense of satisfaction in that, unkempt as our garden may be, these females evidently feel it a safe and secluded place into which to bring their young.
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The Roe with her speckled calf
The Muntjac and her calf, earlier this year