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If you want to see newborn deer, head to Knole Park this June and join the Fawns Walk. The event is going to be held on Saturday 24 June from 5.30pm – 6.30pm. The 3.25-kilometre walk is open to children and families. This is a free event, but those who are joining are encouraged to donate £2 to support the park.
Knole Park, situated in Kent, is home to a herd of 350 deer. Freely roaming around the estimated 1000-acre parkland are two deer species – the sika and fallow deer.
During summer, one of the spectacles in the park is the birth of newborn fawns. Following a gestation period of eight months, the sika does give birth around May. Meanwhile, most fallow does have their babies in July and August, although some give birth in May.
Fawns are able to walk hours after being born. Yet, they remain dependent on their mothers for food, primarily for milk. During the walk, you may encounter some fawns without their mothers who are looking for food. When you see these fawns hidden in the rushes, please do not approach, touch or even move them.
Does use scent to identify their fawns. If you touch them, your scent may combine with that of the fawn. Hence, the scent becomes unfamiliar to the mother, making her unable to identify her young. When this happens, she abandons the fawn, leaving the little one without any food source.
In addition, petting and feeding the deer at Knole Park is prohibited. It is recommended that you watch them from a distance. Since these are wild deer, they are not accustomed to people approaching or touching them. These acts may make them feel threatened and cause them to react violently. So, please listen to your guide and always keep a safe distance.
In spring, the deer shed their winter coats and the bucks cast their antlers. By summer, they sport their so-called summer coats which are not very thick. Meanwhile, the bucks are growing new antlers by this time.
The one-hour fawns walk is an enjoyable activity, even for children. Bring them with you and let them get a glimpse of the adorable fawns. Just be sure to stay with the guide and follow his/her instructions.
Photo by Richard.Fisher