IF you’re looking for a unique deer-spotting experience, Burley in the New Forest is the place to go.

Burley Park hosts a Deer Safari from the end of July until the end of the summer holidays, with tourists given the unique opportunity to see a herd of red deer up close.

Dan Tanner, a local farmer who owns two pick your own farms in Sopley and Christchurch, used to grow crops on the land, but has since left it to grassland.

He bought the herd of deer twenty years ago to live on the empty land which overlooks the Burley Manor Hotel, and has been running the Deer Safari for almost the same period of time.

Deer are usually a very timid species, and shy away from human attention, but the herd in Burley have become accustomed to the tractor and trailer ride that goes through the park.

During the safari, fruit and vegetables are placed on the grass for the deer to eat – at this time of year, they are particularly fond of runner beans, strawberries and gladioli stems left over from Tanner’s farms.

The deer at Burley Park are the largest in size in Britain, standing at 1.2m tall – their big brown eyes and red-hued coats make them very distinctive.

Red deer are one of Britain’s two native species of deer, but are more commonly seen in Scotland – the New Forest is home to four other types, which can be spotted at dusk and dawn when they are less likely to encounter humans.

The Deer Safari runs from July 29 until the end of the summer holidays in Burley Park in Burley, there is no need to pre-book.

Other types of deer in the New Forest include:

1. Roe deer – this species is Britain’s other native species. They are one of the smaller species, with three-pointed horns on the males – in the original ‘Bambi’ books, the titular character was a roe deer.

2. Sika deer – brought to the UK from Japan in the 19th century, there is a herd kept in Beaulieu by the Forestry Commission, who help to stop them breeding with the red deer.

3. Muntjac deer – these are very small, dog like creatures which are sometimes called barking deer because they often make barking noises, and squeak when they are scared. They aren’t so common in the New Forest, but if you do see them they will likely be in Beaulieu.

4. Fallow deer – one of the most instantly recognisable species due to their distinctive black and white rump, and their large antlers, which can reach up to 70cm long. In the New Forest today, there are about 7,500 fallow deer in the New Forest, making them the most common species.