Teddington: dog walkers advised to avoid Bushy Park during rutting season

  Posted: 09.09.21 at 04:33 by Ellie Brown

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Dog walkers are being advised to take dogs for exercise outside of Bushy and Richmond Park this autumn.

This is because rutting season, which lasts from September to November, makes unprovoked attacks on dogs by deer more likely.

During this time male deer are "pumped full of testosterone" as they compete for status and females in their herd.

According to the Royal Parks, deer can feel threatened by dogs even from a long distance away.

The charity said: "Visitors to Bushy and Richmond Parks are advised to walk their dogs outside the parks during this period.

"If visitors choose not to follow this advice, they should ensure dogs are on a lead at all times and consider an alternative route which follows the wall line of the park, where they are close to exit gates."

Adam Curtis, Assistant Park Manager for Richmond Park added: "We issue this advice for the wellbeing of our deer and park visitors.

"Deer can become stressed and behave unpredictably if they feel threatened by dogs or have hordes of people standing close by trying to take pictures."

From May to the beginning of August this year leads were compulsory for dogs being walked in the parks.

Police say that reports of dog attacks on deer increased over lockdown and the Royal Parks also hinted that this was a reason for the controversial policy.

The Royal Parks has released a deer safety guide with advice for dog walkers as well as other park visitors including photographers.

To report an injury to a dog or a deer, please contact:

Richmond Park: 0300 061 2200 or email [email protected]
Bushy Park: 0300 061 2250 or email [email protected]

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