Monday, 30 December 2013
Sunday was a lovely December day with plenty of sunshine, light winds, not too cold and no rain until late on into the evening.
We decided to make the most of the weather and pay a visit to Wentworth Castle. It’s just into South Yorkshire a short 20 minute car journey away but somewhere we haven’t visited before. I had a quick check on the Internet to make sure it was open and pick up a few details such as that it has 500 acres of parkland, a deer park and woodland trails so it appeared ideal for a short afternoon’s visit.
I did think about taking my SLR camera with its 500mm zoom lens so that if we did get close to any deer I’d be able to get some good shots, but it is a heavy beast to carry around and Sue would be taking her 1200mm lens equivalent Panasonic camera so I decided to leave the beast at home and make do with a point and shoot camera for my pictures.
We arrived and made our way to the parkland following the signs away from the visitor centre.
This was our first view of the parkland and not a deer in sight, well there probable is it’s just that no amount of zoom power is going to get a decent shot of them. As we both admired the view and were busy firing off a few first shots some staff arrived carry bags of oats to feed the deer. Rather surprisingly we had stumbled upon deer feeding time and the bags of oats were emptied onto the grass for the deer. There weren't any deer in sight waiting to be fed, however, after shouting “Come on” several times deer started making their way from all around the parkland for their share of the oats.
How close do you want your deer? As you can see a zoom lens wasn't required. The deer came up to almost touching distance provided you kept very still but the slightest movement would spook them.
This stag was in charge and spent most of the feeding time surrounded by his females making taking a good picture of him a little tricky. Eventually though when he’d had enough to eat he posed for a few pictures.
We found out that over Christmas and up to New Year’s Day the deer are fed each lunchtime so we’d been very fortunate to arrive at just the right time. After the deer had had their fill we took a little stroll around some of the parkland before returning to the visitor centre for a coffee.
We’ll have to make a return visit to have a look around the 50 acres of formal gardens and the restored Victorian Conservatory.
If I’d looked at their web site more closely I’d have known that the deer feeding time was 13:00 - 13:15 although then it wouldn't have been such a nice surprise would it.
Watch out for “King of Wentworth Castle” coming on Sue’s Wordless Wednesday blog post later this week.
Posted by Martyn Garrett at 11:18