Monday, 24 March 2008

Deer in the forest

The Kings Wood at Stoke is a mixture of ancient forest and tree plantation. It is a very pleasant place to stroll and you can soon get away from the people traps into quiet forest. Today we walked along the upper slopes and I noticed that a number of mature trees had been felled amongst the open forest. Some were more than 200 year old broad leafed species. There is also some wind damage from last week. A few unstable trees have been uprooted and one, all but dead birch, had snapped half way up its trunk.

In the valley drops that fall from the ridge we saw some Fallow deer. They were a group of about 25 hinds and possibly one stag. It did not take them long to notice me on the ridge, but they remained alert and calm. A couple of snaps and then I move on.
We walked around the upper track and down onto the lakeside walk. That bit of the walk is a long way from the lake, but it does pass below the valleys, under the ridge. When we came to the appropriate part of the path, we could see the group of Fallow deer in the distance, through the trees. We were far enough away to cause them no concern. It was then that a dog barked and a couple with a teenage son started shouting after the dog. They had no idea that the deer herd were just 100 metres from them over a ridge in the woods. The deer rapidly moved off, unseen by the noisy family group. Some people do not have the respect necessary in order to be safely let out into the countryside! Grrrrr!

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