Read about the life and work of the Attingham Wardens

Attingham Park is a National Trust property comprising of an 18th Century mansion set in a Repton landscape; the Park and wider Estate includes a deer park, walled garden, several miles of the rivers Severn and Tern, extensive farmland and woodlands.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Working holiday

This week a working holiday has been taking place in the deer park. The National Trust runs these holidays throughout the year at properties all over the country as an opportunity for people to work on projects alongside wardens and gardeners, experience new places, learn new skills and make friends. My interest in wardening was sparked off by my taking part on working holidays for several years so you never know where they could take you!

Anyway, this week's group have been replacing sections of fence in the deer park where the old posts have become rotten in the base. It's essential that we keep the deer park in good nick as the deer have been here for a long time and we would hate to lose them! The team were led by Mark Sayfritz, a regular contractor at Attingham who has plenty of experience in fencing, and assisted by myself. They have put in a fantastic effort and worked hard all week - lots of digging, hammering and driving in the posts with a drivall. This fence will hold up for several decades before it needs replacing again, so thank you very much guys!

How do you know if the hole is deep enough for the post?
Stick Fiona in of course!
Working holiday leader Elizabeth keeps
the fence posts straight and tidy

Everyone gets to improve on their
hammering skills


Pip the dog enjoys plenty of attention!


A good sturdy stretch of deer fence - six feet high to keep
the fallow herd in and everything else out!

On Wednesday, while the holiday team enjoyed a much-earned day off to explore the local area, I took a small team of volunteers to Wheathill Farm on the edge of the Estate to plant up two Black Poplar trees. Wild black poplar are becoming increasingly rare in the UK so we had a male and female tree to plant near our only other mature black poplar in the hope that they will grow and pollinate and produce us some 'babies' to plant in the future. Before we could plant them I cleared several large willows to create space and a break in the tree canopy to let light through to the young trees while the others burned the brash.

The poplars are planted next to the only other black poplar on the Estate (tree on right)
Matt, Adam and Bob after a long day of cutting and burning brash

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