Deer roamed Harold Hill streets looking for shelter in snow storm

PUBLISHED: 15:15 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:35 08 March 2018

Clair Tretton shared these pictures of deer in the Priory, Harold Hill. Photo: Clair Tretton.

Clair Tretton shared these pictures of deer in the Priory, Harold Hill. Photo: Clair Tretton.


Storm Emma brought more than just snow to the borough, as herds of deer were spotted in the streets of Harold Hill.

Assistant councillor Ben Buckland helped deliver one ton of hay to the deer in the Manor Nature Reserve, Dagnam Park during the cold weather period, last week.

He told the Recorder: “Havering is the only London borough to have free roaming deer.

“Fallow deer are a frequent visitor to the Harold Hill urbanised environment.

“I feel passionately about the wellbeing of the people, animals and environment of our borough.”

Prior to his work with the council, Ben was in command of an anti-poaching unit in South Africa.

This involved conducting armed patrols in the bush to protect endangered species, including African elephants, white rhinos, leopards and pangolin.

The deer eat grass, apples, acorns, young brambles, tree saplings and shrubs.

However, Ben recommends not feeding the deer unless there are difficult weather conditions.

“The deer in Harold Hill only comprise of male herds, which are between six to ten in number,” said Ben.

“The [female] doe herd can be as much as 20-30 deer, who remain up on the reserve.

“Their tails rise when alarmed, but wag when encountering pleasant experiences.”

Ben also advised not to approach the deer during rutting season from late September to early December, as this is the breeding period for the deer.

Recorder readers sent in pictures of the deer in their Harold Hill neighbourhood, after Hayley Finch, 21, spotted a herd running across her street in Retford Road on February 28.

She said: “We haven’t experienced this much snow for a few years now and this must be a strange time for them. Considering how many they were, I think they were searching for food or warmer shelter.

“You do also see them on the green which surrounds the A12/M25 roundabout just up the road.

“I’ve seen them many times just never in such a big group before.”

Kate Norris, 23, from Aylsham Lane, added: “About two weeks ago in the morning, I had to walk through [the deer] to get to my car for work.”

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