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.
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Deer and damselflies
The Spring Fair in the walled garden went well last weekend, with Sunday being one of the busiest days so far this year - what a difference a bit of sunshine makes! On Tuesday the wardens split up the team with half clearing up from the fair - taking down the marquees and collecting up tables and chairs - and the others working in the deer park to build up an earth revetment near the river where some beehives will soon reside. While we were near the water we spotted a red damselfly amongst the nettles, the first one I've seen this year. Luckily it rested just long enough to get a close up picture. In the afternoon I took Jess and Becky to Betton Farm to hang some bird boxes for tenant farmer Richard. He has spotted some redstarts along the abandoned railway that runs through his land so we are hoping to encourage them by providing them with some specially designed nest boxes. They like a clear view out of the nest so the boxes are square with a low bar across the front rather than enclosed boxes with a small round entrance hole.
As I went past some bucks in the deer park on Thursday (doing that favourite Thursday job, emptying the dog bins) I noticed that many of them have their antlers growing back already - fuzzy-looking 'buttons' that mark the growth of new bone beneath the 'velvet' skin.Very few of them have their antlers now. In another month or so, the does will give birth so its an exciting time in the herd.
Jess recently found this antler in the park, probably one of last years - a great example of how nothing goes to waste in nature as lots of small mammals have had a gnaw on this one to extract the minerals.