This is just a quick note to warn people given to exploring the open spaces of the area – particularly dog walkers – that the red deer population are giving birth right now. The heaths around Brownhills, Clayhanger, Pelsall and Chasewater in particular are likely to be host to rather grumpy, aggressive mothers guarding their fawns. Deer are normally gentle souls on the whole, but a mother will go to great lengths, and be extremely aggressive, in defence of her offspring.
A personal reminder that red deer have their babies around now and will be very protective over their young. Their young will be tucked away in concealed areas whilst the mother feeds nearby. At most times of the year female deer will move away from dogs or people but with a very young baby to protect their behaviour can become much more proactive meaning they will approach, chase and defend against dogs. As a dog owner myself, I avoid walking my dog where I know there are red deer at this time of year. Chasewater now has a number of much improved paths which have increased the pressure on the red deer and encounters seem much more likely as a result. I also avoid heathland areas due to the presence of ground nesting birds and the possibility of adders. This is as much about protecting the wildlife as it is keeping my dog safe. I am very selective about where I walk my dog as a result and urge other owners, whilst still enjoying their dogs much needed walks, to be just as careful.
In light of this, it’s wise to check out Lichfield District Council’s Dog Walkers Guide for Chasewater. As a cyclist, I’m very mindful of the wildlife up there at this time of year especially and take extra care not to venture into quiet spots.
To avoid being on the unexpectedly rather sharp end of an angry mother with an attitude issue, please keep a respectful distance and keep your dogs under control at all times. Even if they look like they’re just loafing, these normally docile creatures can turn nasty at a moments notice. This warning applies to anywhere where deer have been spotted – from the heaths of Chasewater to the commons and woods of Brownhills, Jockey Meadows, Clayhanger Marsh and even Sandhills.