I went out into the field to try to catch some action shots of the Red deer and Fallow deer in Calke park, Derbyshire, as the males begin to demonstrate sexual fitness in autumn, select mates/mate and defend harems. I didn’t manage to catch any rutting on this occasion, although there were a couple of individuals with obvious wounds from fighting, and plenty of strutting about and bellowing taking place. I did find some sleepy individuals who were obviously not interested and for whom it all looked like far too much drama and effort! Other individuals were busy practising locking antlers with low hanging branches of trees and rolling in mud, and running around a lot looking quite magnificent.
Replacing an 11th century Norman fort, the Peverils erected a 12th century castle on the site, which was later replaced by a larger castle, stables and manege, and a much later ‘little castle’ designed for luxurious entertaining of guests. Both castles (now owned by English Heritage) stand empty, the ‘little castle’ at least maintaining a roof, some furnishings and a maintained garden, whilst the larger castle is in a state of ruin. Both stand high on a hill overlooking Bolsover and provide impressive views of the surrounding areas of Derbyshire.