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Deer rutting season accident warning

Author: Epping Forest District Council Published: 29th October 2015 15:02
  Fallow deer
Stay alert in deer rutting season

Motorists, dog walkers, cyclists and visitors to Epping Forest are advised to be aware that the deer mating or rutting season has begun.

Motorists - accidents on the roads involving deer increase at this time of year and drivers should be extra vigilant where there are deer warning signs and slow down when driving through the forest.

Dog walkers - dogs should be kept on a lead. It is important to keep disturbance of the deer to a minimum and dog owners should be aware that deer can feel threatened by dogs and may also disrupt the deer breeding pattern.

Visitors - walkers are advised to keep at least 50m away from deer, never get in between two deer.

Male deer, or bucks, are often highly aggressive as they are full of testosterone, clashing antlers in an attempt to fight off rivals and attract as many females as possible. They become less aware of the dangers around them, such as cars and bikes on the roads.

Please avoid feeding or photographing them at close range during this season.

The Highways Agency deer advice to drivers is:

When you see deer warning signs, check your speed and stay alert if your headlights are on, use full-beams when you can, but dip them if you see deer, as they may ‘freeze' more deer may follow the first one you see be prepared to stop, but try not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer; hitting oncoming traffic or another obstacle could be even worse if you have to slow down or stop, use your hazard warning lights do not approach an injured deer, it could be dangerous.

You should treat a collision with a deer as an emergency, especially if someone is injured or if vehicles or deer in the road are a safety risk. Ring 999 for the police or ambulance service immediately.

Epping Forest in autumn

Please stay alert, but please do not avoid visiting Epping Forest in the autumn as it is truly stunning when the trees leaves are changing colour.


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