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Deer have returned to Dyrham Park in South Gloucestershire once more following a three year gap.  

Twenty-six fallow deer from a privately-owned estate were released into the 270-acre historic parkland, eight miles from Bath, earlier this week.   

The previous herd had to be very sadly culled due to high levels of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) back in 2021 as the disease was severely impacting the health and welfare of the animals.    

Staff from the 270-acre National Trust site have been working with specialist vet and wildlife advisors preparing the historic parkland for the new deer who are now settling into their new surroundings.   

Dyrham Park’s General Manager Tom Boden said: “We are absolutely delighted to share the long-awaited and brilliant news that deer are back at Dyrham Park.   

“Deer belong here. They are the very essence of the park, the name ‘Dyrham’ derives from a Saxon word meaning ‘valley of the deer’, and there’s evidence of their presence here going back hundreds of years. We’ve been working towards this moment for three years and are thrilled to have deer here again.”   

The team at Dyrham are now giving the animals the all-important time and space to settle into their new surroundings.   

Observing the new deer heard at Dyrham Park, April 2024 – Photo: James Dobson

Tom added: “We know that our visitors will be just as excited as we are to hear this news and understand their desire to catch a glimpse of the new herd. We wanted to close for the shortest time possible to avoid disruption to visitors but primarily so that the deer get used to having people around.   

“However, we do urge visitors not to seek out the deer and, that if they do come across them, to keep their distance so as not to startle or unsettle them in any way.  They are wild animals and it’s important that we give them the time and space they need to get used to their new home and we must respect their need for calm and quiet.”   

Measures have been put in place to keep the deer happy and healthy, including adapting the deer sanctuary to include more space sheltered by trees, a badger vaccination project, new fencing, deer grids and the installation of specialised water troughs.   

A full-time park deer manager has also been recruited to oversee the arrival of the herd and the ongoing good health and welfare of the animals.  

Dyrham Park is open daily from 10am to 5pm, with last entry at 4pm.