AN UNUSUAL white fallow deer has been spotted on the slopes of Harting Down with a small herd of ordinary deer.

The female deer, or doe deer, was pictured by Petersfield resident Keith Goffe, and was grazing alongside with a handful of fallow deer of a more normal dark brown, or black, colour.

White fallows are described by experts as ‘unusual’ rather than rare, but it has been some years since one was seen between Butser Hill and Harting.

And there is something special about a white fallow they admit – even though they are also known as ’Judas’ deer because their colouring stands out and makes them, and the brown deer around them, an easy target for poachers.

South east liason officer for the Deer Initiative Jamie Cordery from Winchester is a regular visitor to Harting Hill.

He said: “There are a lot of deer right along the downs, but especially in the Harting area.

“White fallow deer aren’t uncommon, they are out there but you have to be very lucky to see one.”

The white deer aren’t albino, the snowy-white complexions are not down to a lack of pigmentation but a gene found in some fallow deer.

But the natural phenomenon doesn’t breed through, so off-spring revert to the much darker fallow colouring.