The volunteers turned out in force despite the inclement weather to view the annual rut taking place in Thunderdell Park. For fallow deer the rut takes place in October. With over one thousand two hundred deer on the Estate it is not too difficult to locate a rut. Rutting activity is most intense soon after dawn, when the male deer are pumped full of testosterone and highly aggressive – so don’t get too close to the action. A number of bucks are killed each year in the battle for a harem – at least three so far this year.
Lawrence led the walk and gave a talk afterwards on the Trust’s approach towards it’s flora and fauna . He was at pains to endorse the annual cull, since it seems that Ashridge should only have some four hundred deer relative to the habitat.