PEOPLE are being asked to stay out of areas of Wyre Forest nature reserve as male deer battle it out during the rutting season.

The period generally starts in late September and carries on through until October and sees rival male deer fight for the right to mate with the females.

It's an important time for the deer population and to help make sure this this natural behaviour is not disturbed, Forestry England is asking people to stay out of small areas of Wyre Forest from September 22 to October 31 to give the deer some space.

These areas have been identified by an expert wildlife ranger, and don’t affect any waymarked trails or public rights of way.

When walking in the wider forest. people may come across signs that advise visitors not to continue any further.

 Richard Boles, beat forester for Forestry England in Wyre Forest said: “Wyre Forest is a fantastic place to see the annual deer rut take place, it is quite a spectacle. The noise from the deer and the sight of them fighting really shows how powerful they are.

 "It is important to remember that they are wild animals and need to be treated with respect.

"When visiting the forest in the coming weeks, please make sure you stick to the paths and keep your dogs under close control. If you do come across any deer, please keep your distance.”

"Prior to and during the rut, you may see male deer (bucks) groaning, walking parallel to each other and even fighting. The normally peaceful forest is turned into a battlefield as each male tries to show his dominance.

"As deer are more active during mating season, traffic collisions involving deer are more common around this time.

"People should drive with caution on the roads around the forest, particularly in the early mornings and evenings".