· Reindeer lived in England at the end of the ice age 10,000 years ago; climate change and hunting led to their demise here.


· The only place where reindeer roam wild in Britain is in the Cairngorms where they were reintroduced in the 1950s.


· In 2008 a small herd was imported from Scandinavia and set free on the Trevarno Estate near Helston, Cornwall, to make Christmas feel more authentic for tourists; in May this year a male calf was born to parents Prancer and Rudolph, and named Blue after the bluebells for which the estate is renowned.


· They eat fungus in winter, and leaves and grasses at other times.


· Laplanders use reindeer for milk, clothing, and sometimes keep them as pets.


· According to one researcher, the myth of flying reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh was started by hallucinating northern Europeans who had been eating magic mushrooms.


Eddie Newall


Reindeer Facts