Red deer in Windsor Great Park

These are some photos I took in Windsor Great Park in July. The park has been royal forest and attached to Windsor Castle itself since the time of William the Conqueror. As well as general pictures of the park, its open spaces and woodland, I took photos of very well established rhododendron (showing just how bad it can get unchecked) and the park’s herd of red deer.

I spent about three hours walking from the Virginia Water visitors’ centre to the middle of the Long Walk and back. I noticed some striking fungal brackets and decaying trees; fencing made from machined posts and roughly worked rails from the park itself; a table dedicated to woodland books in the Saville Garden shop; a curving walk with rhododendron bushes either side, some of which had grown into small trees, with dense rhodo undergrowth going back 10 or 20m on each side; in the deer park, the herd of red deer established by the Duke of Edinburgh, showing their division into a small male group and a much larger group of females and younger deer before the rut starts at the end of summer. Red deer are really woodland animals, with adaptations like the stags’ roar to call to females that are out of sight. The deer park has a mixture of open spaces with trees (like wood pasture) and woodland, and is probably closer to their natural environment than the denuded uplands that they now inhabit in the Highlands of Scotland.

In this gallery click on the thumbnails to get a larger version. After the gallery there’s a short video of red deer stags.

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