· 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.