Fullers Hill Cottages near Cambridge

We are very lucky at Fullers Hill Cottages near Cambridge

Dear at Cambridge Holiday Cottagesas, not only are we treated to seeing the Hares on the airfield, but we also have a herd of Fallow deer that visit the farm on an occasional basis.

The deer escaped from a local stately home some years ago (I do not know which one) and clearly made their way up to SW Cambridgeshire. They took up residence in the remote Hayley Wood that lies to the East of the farm. The deer lived in the wood for many years until the woodland was purchased by a nature trust, who opened the wood to the public. The deer then moved out and now live in smaller pieces of woodland and spinneys. This has caused the deer to come into conflict with local agriculture. In recent years the numbers of the herd have fallen from 60 down to about 20.

However, on Fuller’s Hill Farm, the only thing that is going to shoot the Deer  is a Canon D60 digital SLR camera.

In the spring of 2012 we were treated to many sightings of the herd. There were a number of large stags, resplendent with their antlers. Some of the herd are also white deer, maybe up to 20% of them.

Dear at Fullers Hill Cottages

One particular evening the deer were spotted in the field immediately opposite the farm buildings. I took the chance to grab my camera and I quickly ran into the adjacent field that was also downwind of the deer. I then positioned a large Oak tree between myself and the herd. This allowed me to easily walk, totally screened, to within 100m of them. I then crawled through the hedge and over the ditch, taking pictures as I went. Slowly I was able to get even closer. The deer became aware of me, but as they could not clearly see me, they just stood and looked thereby allowing me to gain some lovely shoots.

During the following months I frequently  chased the deer from my fields so that my neighbors crops were trampled and eaten during the early summer. However, great care has to be taken not to chase the deer in certain directions, as there are a few farmers who would seek to harm them.

John Jefferies

14/11/12

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