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Deer Rutting at Minsmere

The heaths and woods of coastal Suffolk will shortly resound with deep-throated roars and the clash of antler upon antler as the annual red deer rut commences.

At RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, near Westleton, the sight of the UK’s largest land mammal is increasingly familiar, but autumn is the best time to observe these impressive creatures.

A Red Deer Viewpoint on Westleton Heath will be staffed by the RSPB from 3.30pm to dusk at weekends from Saturday 24th September to Sunday 23rd October as part of their Autumnwatch event.

RSPB staff and volunteers will show visitors rutting red deer through binoculars and telescopes, as the stags battle for supremacy and control of a harem of females.

RSPB spokesman Ian Barthorpe said, “The red deer rut is one of nature’s most spectacular events. The almost prehistoric bellows of stags sends shivers down the spine of watching humans. If these roars and the accompanying posturing aren’t enough for a stag to assert his authority, then violent clashes of antlers may follow. The force with which they charge each other is incredible.

The red deer rut viewpoint is free. Car parking will be in the Natural England car park on Westleton Heath. The viewpoint is a gentle half-mile walk from there, and will be signed.

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