Herd of fallow deer living in a housing estate in Harold Hill, Essex – story in the Daily Mail
They are majestic creatures usually associated with wealthy country estates.
So I was amazed when Jake Fitzgerald contacted Featureworld with some astonishing photos showing usually shy fallow deer living in a housing estate.
Indeed the animals are so friendly that they even eat out of residents’ hands.
The Daily Mail also adored the story so much they sent their own photographer to the estate to do some more photos – which went over two pages!
Jake, whose daughter Annie, 20 months, often feeds them, said: ‘You don’t expect to see so many in the middle of a housing estate. These days it’s not uncommon to get out of your car to find twenty deer staring at you as your keys jingle in your pocket.
‘And you can step out of your back door and see them stood right outside.’
He adds: ‘I can imagine to strangers it is quite intimidating to see so many deer in one place. But they are harmless and very friendly. Residents often throw vegetables out of their balconies for them. They’ve become quite an attraction as people bring their children to visit.’
Jake, 26, who runs his own plastering company, said his daughter, whose mother lives on the estate, has become particularly fond of one particular deer.
‘He seems smaller than the others, maybe the runt of the litter. Sometimes the deers fight. It’s quite spectacular to watch them clashing antlers.
‘Unfortunately this little deer with one antler is often picked on, although he usually rejoins the rest of the herd eventually.
‘He particularly enjoys human company, coming up really close. He loves to eat carrots and broccoli. Annie adores him.’
The fallow deer are usually found in nearby Dagnam Park, a Manor nature reserve in Harold Hill, which is owned and managed by the London Borough of Havering.
The park, opposite the housing estate, includes almost twenty acres of wildlife meadows and over eight hectares of coppiced woodland, ponds, scrub and veteran trees.
The area is so famous for the deer that it is a regular haunt of film crews looking to shoot adverts in natural surroundings close to London.
However is believed the very cold winter and unusually cool spring weather has brought the deer closer to humans as they search for warmer shelter and food.
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