These delightful deer are very close to my heart. I have lived within spitting distance of Richmond Park in Surrey (UK) for most of my life and I never fail to be entranced by them.
Richmond Park is rightly famous, not least for its various gardens, ponds, copses, mounds and grasslands. The most well-known of the gardens is probably the Isabella Plantation, an organic area full of beautiful flora and fauna, which was created just after the Second World War. King Henry’s Mound, which lies within the public gardens of Pembroke Lodge (now a restaurant) contains a classic view of St Paul’s Cathedral and dates from 1710. Oak trees that were mature in the 17th century are still standing today.
This area of medieval farms and pasture was originally enclosed as a royal park by Charles II in 1637 for his own personal hunting of red and fallow deer, much to the disgust of local residents who were, however, allowed right of way. Nevertheless, the King had to pay compensation to the landowners. Much of the brick wall with which he surrounded the Park to keep the deer from straying is still extant and, when funds allow, is given tender care.
It was not until 1872, when Queen Victoria was on the throne, that Richmond Park was first opened to the public. If you’re in the area, I would urge you to visit. If the weather is good, take a picnic!