Powerscourt and Sika deer.

In 1860, Lord Powerscourt imported one stag and three hinds of Sika deer from Japan and kept them in an enclosure surrounded by a twelve foot high fence in Glensulan, above Powerscourt waterfall. This is the valley bounded by Maulin, the Tonduffs and Djouce where they multiplied but numbers were kept in check. In the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, outside the fence, were the much larger native red deer only seen occasionally. In February 1947 (the “Year of the Big Snow”) I went into Glensulan with Mr. Sam Sutton of Bahanna and found the snow higher than the fence and no sign of the Sika deer; they had literally walked across the fence and over time interbred with the reds giving us the huge numbers of hybrid deer which are all over Leinster today.

This is a photo of the remains of the fence taken in September 2002.

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