Sunday, 23 December 2012

Season's Greetings!

Merry Christmas from the Lyme Park ranger team!

A special thank you to our many volunteers who have been such a huge help this year.

Lots of visitors to Lyme Park over the festive period ask how our reindeer are.

Our deer are actually either red or fallow deer, depending on where you are in the park. Reindeer are native to northern regions of Europe, North America, Asia, and Greenland, but not the UK.

Spot the Deer-ference...

Red deer
Fallow deer



Latin name: Rangifer tarandus
Other common name: Caribou
Habitat: Northern regions of Europe, North America, Asia, and Greenland.
  • Reindeer are the only members of the deer family in which the males and females both can grow antlers.
  • Their annual migration to the Arctic can take them over 5,000km - reputedly the longest migration of any land mammal.
  • Male reindeer can grow antlers up to five feet (1.52 meters) long.
  • Reindeer weigh from 240 to 700 lbs. (109 to 318 kg).
  • Reindeer are hunted by indigenous northern people throughout much of their range. Woodland reindeer are listed as endangered, but other reindeer populations are stable.
 So there you have it, now you know your reindeer from your red and fallow deer!

Wishing you a fantastic Christmas and 2013,

The ranger team

Monday, 10 December 2012


Everywhere you look at Lyme Park, there is a photograph waiting to be taken.

Expansive tracts of windswept moorland, oak and beech woodlands, avenues of lime and sycamore, the icy calm of the Mill Pond, the solitary silhouette of Lyme Cage, the looming grandeur of the house and gardens, and of course, the deer.
Taken by J.Barton
There are very few places where you can see these magnificent animals at close quarters with such relative ease. No budding wildlife photographer’s visit to Lyme Park would be complete without getting a snap of a red or fallow deer. It’d be like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower…or going to Dublin and not having a Guinness.

I’ve started a wildlife gallery on this blog. As you will hopefully be able to see (to the right of this page) there are currently only a few photographs being displayed on the gallery; and all of them so far are of our fallow deer.
Taken by Jack Taylor
It’d be great to get some more photographs to be displayed in the gallery, so if you have ANY photographs of wildlife at Lyme Park, please email them to me at:
And please don’t limit yourselves only to photos of deer. Lyme Park is home to all sorts of diverse flora and fauna. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
  • At this time of year, keep a look out for flocks of fieldfare and redwing. These wintering thrushes migrate here from Scandinavia to make the most of our berry harvest, and could be around until March next year. Another winter visitor is the stunning waxwing. These are scarce, but you never know, you might be lucky!   
  • The sleek and elusive hare can sometimes be seen grazing or darting at speed over Drinkwater Meadow and Park Moor. Get your camera poised and ready though, they don’t hang about!
  • Look out for the resident, elegant, solitary grey heron that skulks and stalks through the rushes in the Mill Pond.  
  • The squabbling mallards, and the shrieking black-headed gulls can offer good close ups.
  • I saw about half a dozen goosander today (10/12/12) in the pond, these large ducks dive underwater to catch fish with their long, serrated bills.
  • Kestrels can be seen hovering by roadsides and over rough grassland and moorland, on the lookout for voles and mice.
  • On clear, crisp winter days, you might find that a walk through the woods can reward you with a good view of woodland birds such as great-spotted woodpecker, jays, and common garden birds such as blue, great and coal tits.