VISITORS to Tatton Park have been urged to be on their guard when visiting during the rutting season.

Malcolm Clerc, 84, who lives just off King Street in Knutsford, was visiting the park two weeks ago when the deer struck his car.

Visitors are warned by park staff that it is currently rutting season – where deers look for a mate – but attacks on cars are rare.

But on this occasion the deer hit Malcolm’s Hyundai causing more than £1,000 worth of damage.

“We drove into Tatton Park to have a picnic and when we were leaving a red deer butted the door of our car with its antlers,” he said.

“It damaged the body work but what amazes me is that the insurance department at Cheshire East do not accept responsibility as the car was hit by a wild animal.

“But what would be the position be if a child on a bike was hit?

“The rangers took photos and they told us it is the rutting season.”

Malcolm added it was a frightening experience for both himself and his wife, Marjorie.

“There were holes in the side of the car at the passenger side,” he said.

“It was very frightening, especially for my 83-year-old wife who was in the passenger seat.

“The rangers said they had never seen anything like this before. But I believe people should be made aware that they aren’t covered if they get hit by a deer when in the park.”

Clr Andrew Knowles, cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “A claim has been received and was passed immediately to Cheshire East Council’s insurers and is currently being investigated. The claimant will be notified in writing when this is complete.

“There are permanent signs placed near the entrance to the park which advise drivers about the presence of deer and other animals. We supplement that at this time of year with additional signs advising visitors not to get too near to the deer.

“Although it is rutting season and the deer are very active, this was an unusual and isolated incident.”