White red deer appear very rarely in the wild and so have inevitably formed the basis for legends and myths wherever red deer exist through a great variety of cultures across the northern hemisphere. Their appearance was generally held to portend important events and English and Scottish monarchs made strenuous efforts to capture and preserve white red deer. However no captive herds were established in Britain until recently.
White red deer were pivotal in the foundation myths of countries as disparate as Hungary and Japan.
The word ‘hart’ was the medieval name for an adult red deer stag and a white hart was the badge of King Richard II of England. Since King Richard was the first to require drinking houses to display inn signs many became White Hart inns.
John became fascinated by white red deer and their legends and began to breed them on his farm in about 2010. Through his friend, Brett Graham proprietor of the Michelin starred restaurants: the Ledbury (two stars) and the Harwood Arms (one star) in London, he recently assisted in the establishment of white red deer herds at Aynhoe Park and for the Duke of Buccleuch at Boughton House in Northamptonshire.
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