We back on to old woodland. It is greenbelt land - which means that in theory it is protected. However, it is owned by building developers, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they start pushing that notable lover of the green and pleasant home counties, John Prescott, to convert it into a multi-storey car park.
Aaaaaanyway, in the meantime, deer live in the woods. It was quite startling the first time we discovered that one of them had made her way into the garden. This was a mature doe - and it is completely unexpected in what is effectively suburbia (albeit on the fringes) to discover a wild mammal of that size in your garden. Foxes, yes - in fact I suspect that some foxes have their holes under the pile of garden waste at the top of the garden. But not deer.
They have appeared on a more regular basis. In the spring one showed up, which was quite nice, but she ate all the heads off our tulips before they came out. We don't have many beautiful flowers in our garden (sorry, previous inhabitants!), so it was a little disappointing to have our "spring show" wiped out, even by so elegant a mammal. A doe and another deer we assumed was her offspring showed up a few weeks ago. They are partial to the windfall apples, and we assumed they were eating blackberries from the brambles, but in actual fact they don't seem to have touched them.
The baby deer appeared on its own yesterday - very fearless - and came to within 15 feet of the house, looking for things to munch. A couple of photos are below.