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.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Wintery winds and fond farewells

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas? Christmas is the one day of the year that the park is completely closed, although the recent winds have meant we have had to have partial closures on other days too. Local gusts have reached nearly 60 mph and with the risk of trees and branches falling we had to close the footpaths around the park. Our precautions were the right choice - at the top of the Mile Walk a grand fir uprooted and fell across the path, bringing down half of an ash tree with it. You can never guarantee if a tree will or will not fall down, but it's never worth the risk of having people nearby!

We are feeding the deer regularly now, at 2pm every day in the local school holidays and every weekend until February so you can see these beautiful animals enjoying their food. They even had a feed on Christmas Day - not everyone gets a day off when there are jobs to be done! Boxing Day saw many visitors coming out for a walk to burn those excess holiday calories so we tried to park everyone as best we could on the wet ground. Some of you may have heard already that a big project is planned next year to redesign the car parks, increasing the hard standing and improving drainage.

In a few weeks time we will be saying goodbye to our Academy Ranger Jess who is moving south to start her new job as warden at Cliveden Estate. She will be greatly missed as she as been a full time member of staff here for the last two and a half years - thank you for all your hard work, good luck with your new life and stay in touch!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Frost Fair and Christmas once again!

One of the two Frost Fair entrances
It's hard to believe but the season is upon us once more. At Attingham, Christmas really gets going with the Frost Fair, the biggest event of the year. This year the layout was slightly different and we had more temporary track way put down to cope with the cars but with weeks of planning, measuring, marking and signing (plus the luck of some dry weather in the week before) the Fair was a huge success with well over 15,000 people visitong over the three days. The outdoors team and and a large group of volunteers did an amazing job of running the car parks (all 8 of them!) and keeping the flow of traffic moving, plus helping out with the preparation and clear up across the site (signs, tents, carpets, drainage, ropes, rubbish and what felt like miles of rope and millions of painted canes!) I cannot thank our volunteers enough for their time and efforts this year - we really couldn't have done it without them.

The team had a briefing each morning to assign roles and get
everyone on board with Bob's masterplan

The beautiful Acer near the Tea room
The park has been looking beautiful over the last few weeks with the late autumn colours and low sun. I've spotted quite a few people out with their cameras making the most of the dry sunny days and have been recommending them to come and watch the deer being fed at the weekends at 2pm to get a few pictures of our fabulous fallows. We are feeding near the bottom of the park this year, so if you stand by the signs 50 yards or so on from the deer park gate you will get a good view. 

 Walkers enjoying the Woodland Walk will be pleased to hear that we are doing some maintenance work to improve the wet areas by laying down a stone path through the worst bits. We had a volunteer team from a  local college last week to help us start this task, and they did a brilliant job! It's hard work shoveling and barrowing stone all day but they battled on and we will continue the work over the coming weeks.

The Mansion has been decorated with greenery collected by our teams from around the estate and I hear that Father Christmas is meeting some families this weekend and the next, so have a peek inside as well as out in the grounds!