Distinctively antlered deer introduced by Norman conquerors

Often mistaken for sika deer, Britain’s contemporary population of fallow deer were brought to these islands following the Norman conquest as ornamental deer, but they soon became a favourite for hunting and aristocratic tables. Today, they are increasingly regarded as a menace due to their rising numbers and for the damage to crops and trees they can cause. Fallow deer are central to European traditions of preparing venison, well matched to cooking with robust wines and juniper berries.

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Native Breed

Britain’s largest wild land mammal

Red deer have roamed – and been hunted – on these islands since Mesolithic times. Red deer typically prefer woodland and forests, though the deer can adapt to moorlands, and the image of stags roaming the glens of Scotland is iconic. The rutting of red stags is one of the natural wonders of these Isles. Our red deer are sourced wild from Scotland or are ‘wild enclosed’ from British parklands, such as at Studley Royal. As with all venison, this meat is low in fat and supremely high in protein. Unlike farmed venison, the wild grazing translates to flavours and distinctive finish.

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Ornamental escapees from the Far East

Similar to the fallow deer in their colouring, sika were introduced to Britain in 1860, and now have ranges across the five countries of the British Isles. Their success is especially marked because it is thought that the vast majority of these animals descend from one stag and three hinds introduced to Viscount Powerscourt's deer park at Enniskerry, Eire. Interbreeding with red deer is just one issue that the breed poses, as the deer population in the UK has exploded in recent years. Expect a finer grained finish with plenty of flavour.

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