Visit a Deer Sanctuary

November 6th 2019
By: Melanie Hollidge
Visit a Deer Sanctuary

Epping Forest has a long association with deer. On Sunday 10th November from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm you can learn more about Epping Forest deer sanctuary its history and management and meet the residents, with Mick Collins. To do this you need to meet at Genesis Slade Car Park, off Coppice Row (B172), Theydon Bois. Grid ref: TQ 438997. So as not to be disappointed BOOKING is required by ringing 020 8508 9061.

One of the main attractions of moving to Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford is the draw of Epping Forest. The deer once used to be hunted and several deer parks were formed in and around the Forest: Copped Hall, Monkhams and Fairmead date from the 13th century, the hunt grandstand of Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge still stands today at Chingford. The Lodge was commissioned by Henry VIII as a grandstand from which to view the hunt. Queen Elizabeth I is thought to have visited the Lodge.

There is no more hunting deer in the forest now except to watch them. In late autumn there is lots of activity as the does come into season. The bucks move into rutting ‘stands’ where they make muddy wallows by scraping the ground and urinating onto it. They then roll in their wallows to gain the distinctive and powerful odour of a rutting buck in its prime, which, together with their loud belching groans, serve to attract does and overawe younger males. Challenges for the rutting stands are met in a battle of clashing antlers.

Forest deer delight visitors who are thrilled to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures. Deer walks, talks and educational activities are regularly organised, for further information, please visit or follow @COLEppingForest on Twitter. You can find out more about this unique, ancient woodland at Epping Forest’s Visitor Centre, The View, Rangers Road, Chingford, which is conveniently located next door to Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge.  

Find out more on the Epping Forest Field Studies Centre website.

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