The deer family includes the UK’s largest and most majestic land mammals but also a number of non-native and invasive species and are often as problematic as they are important in terms of conservation. In this course we will learn about all six wild UK deer species, how to identify them, about their ecology, behavior and some of the conservation issues which relate to them.
We will also be able to take advantage of the deer park at Margam, a historic deer park since at least Norman, and possibly as far back as Roman times the park is home to Red and Fallow deer and also to a particularly fascinating Pere David Deer, which once extinct in their native Chine have been reintroduced successfully thanks to conservation efforts in the UK.
Tutor: Geoffrey GuyGeoff has a background in professional game and deer management and is a qualified lecturer, he has taught students in the landbased industries of game, wildlife and countryside management and agriculture at some of the UK�s most prestigious land based vocational colleges and currently manages the land based industries department at Brooksby Melton College in Leicestershire. He also has many years of experience teaching bushcraft and survival skills through his own training companies and for a range of UK based colleges and outdoor organisations. Geoff honed his skills in the UK, Sweden and New Zealand and regularly contributes to national and international bushcraft publications and events. He has a particular interest in the skills which make living off the land possible.
Course intro, introduction to the species, general characteristics and taxonomy.
Morning - Deer in the UK, extinct species, ecology of native deer species and practical identification in the deer park.
Afternoon - Parks and collections, non-native introductions and re-wilding. Deer behaviour practical with observations in the park.
Evening - Classroom session covering: continuation of ecology of native deer species, deer behaviour and impacts.
Day visit to The Forest of Dean for indirect deer sign observation, tracking and deer impact assessment. Return to centre in time for course recap and departure by 16.30.
Before You Attend
Start and finish times
This course officially starts at 6.00pm on the Friday with dinner and registration. Please aim to arrive between 4:00-5:00, there will be coffee and cake available from 4pm onwards. Breakfast will be at 8am; Lunch will be a packed lunch. The course will end on Sunday at 4:00pm.
What to bring
- Lunch Box and vacuum flask
- Plenty of spare warm clothing (and clothing for sunnier weather just in case!)
- Day sack
- Waterproofs and appropriate footwear (wellies & waterproofs can be borrowed from us)
For your own and group safety, Centre staff reserve the right to refuse to take people out on excursions if they are not properly equipped.