Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary – 2 Jul 1921

Viola is at Doune House, but she has not returned to the Stirling area. Doune House, is on the Rothiemurchus Estate in the Cairngorms National Park. It is a mansion house that used to be in the hands of the Grants of Rothiemurchus, but is today managed by the Rothiemurchus Trust.

She spots a roe deer near the Dutch garden. There is no set definition of what a ‘Dutch garden’ is but it is likely to have been arranged in a geometric style with densely packed areas of flowers and possibly surrounded by hedges or walls.

The roe deer carried on feeding in the field next to the garden and appears to have been little bothered by the approach of the dog. She observes his ‘horns’, by which she of course means his antlers. Although the roe deer is smaller, its antlers still take about four months to regrow. They typically begin to grow them in November and shed in October. So Viola is probably seeing the deer’s antlers at their best, ready for the start of rutting season.


July 2. Doune House. 3.30 p.m.

Saw a roe deer feeding quite near the house – in a

field by the Dutch garden. he was quite tame, and

never moved till the dog was close to him. He

had fairly good horns too.