Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Exmoor stag weekend showcases deer rutting

VISITORS to Exmoor can experience the primeval roar and clashing antlers of Exmoor’s iconic stags meeting in ferocious combat during the annual red deer rut in October.
A special safari weekend has been organised with guides who will help visitors to see the stunning hills, secret valleys, and wild moorland of Exmoor and to witness the stags’ raw combat at close quarters.
The huge, powerful beasts charge each other, locking antlers, and battle rages until the strongest wins.
Charles Harding, a deer stalker and warden for The National Trust, said: “It is an awesome but exhilarating natural phenomenon, and an experience that people never forget.
“Red deer are Britain’s largest land mammal and when the stags are driven to rut, the hills and moors resonate with their primeval bellows.
“These beautiful and majestic creatures’ ancient instincts drive them into fierce, and sometimes even fatal, combat to win female companions.
“We have experienced guides to lead people on organised safaris because stags are wild animals that can be dangerous and unpredictable during the rut.
“The guides know the terrain and understand the behaviour of stags during the rutting season, and will ensure that people can watch this amazing event in safety, and without disturbing the animals.”
Porlock Visitor Centre manager Denise Sage, who has organised the safari weekend, said: “We have a variety of delightful bed and breakfast options available in the vale of Porlock.
“However, places on the weekend are limited to 36, so we are advising people to book early.
“Visitors are welcomed on Friday and fantastic locally-produced food is served for an excellent Exmoor supper and jazz evening.
“On Saturday, after a wildlife safari in the morning, there is a red deer safari at dusk followed by dinner and an illustrated talk.
“There is an early trip to a different area on Sunday, after which guests will be served a hearty Exmoor breakfast.”
The weekend visit runs from October 10 to 12, and costs £195 per person.
The price includes two nights’ bed and breakfast, a wildlife safari, two red deer walking safaris led by Exmoor National Park Ranger Richard Eales and National Trust Countryside Manager Nigel Hester, a jazz supper, talks, and Saturday night dinner.
Guests need to be able to walk a minimum of three miles.
Bookings can be made through Porlock Visitor Centre on 01643 863150 or by email to
  • Our photograph shows a stag belling. Photo submitted.

1 comment:

  1. Exmoor is a great place for walkers and roamers of Britain! My wife and I are keen ramblers and stay rather lavishly at the luxury Highcliffe House Exmoor, which is actually situated within an acre of the National Park itself and provides the perfect place to discover the beauty and beasts that roam the moorlands of Exmoor!


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