Deer return to historic park three years after cull

Deer are returning to a historic park three years after the previous herd was culled due to an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis.

Fallow deer from a private estate were released at Dyrham Park in South Gloucestershire last week.

The previous herd was put down after a 10-year battle by estate staff to stop the disease spreading.

General manager Tom Boden said staff were "absolutely delighted" that 26 deer had returned to 270-acre National Trust site.

The deer are now being given time to adapt to their new home, with the site closed for several days last week while they were introduced to the site.

"We know that our visitors will be just as excited as we are to hear this news and understand their desire to catch a glimpse of the new herd," Mr Boden said.

"We wanted to close for the shortest time possible to avoid disruption to visitors but primarily so that the deer get used to having people around."

Staff at Dyrham Park have worked with a specialist vet and wildlife advisors to prepare the park, which is eight miles from Bath.

Measures have been put in place to make the deer feel at home and keep them healthy.

These include more tree shelter in the deer sanctuary, a badger vaccination project, new fencing, deer grids, the installation of specialised water troughs, and the appointment of a full-time park deer manager.

But while the deer settle in, Mr Boden said visitors will need to "respect their need for calm and quiet".

"We do urge visitors not to seek out the deer and, that if they do come across them, to keep their distance so as not to startle or unsettle them in any way," he added.

"They are wild animals and it’s important that we give them the time and space they need to get used to their new home and we must respect their need for calm and quiet."

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