One of nature’s most spectacular autumn sights is currently taking place at Dunham Massey in Altrincham.
The male deer at the National Trust attraction are going head-to-head in the annual deer rut as they compete for females through the powerful locking of antlers. The seasonal display is made even more dramatic by the distinctive bellows that can be heard at dawn as they challenge one another to be the alpha male.
The bucks, with fully grown antlers, are full of testosterone which means that they smell strongly of musk and their necks thicken. The rut peaks in October and during this time the bucks begin to parallel walk, sizing each other up.
The deer have been a key feature of the estate since the park walls were built in 1748. More information about Dunham’s Massey’s 300 acre ancient deer park can be found at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey/features/dunham-deer-through-the-year