2015 begins, and for the wardens it unfortunately begins on a sad note. On Wednesday a dog got loose in the deer park during the 2pm feed and chased the deer. The herd bolted and the labrador was retrieved but the next day we found a dead buck on the park. Deer are wild animals and are highly susceptible to stress, and being chased by an uncontrolled dog is enough to cause death through stress - we have seen it several times before. This is why it is imperative that dogs in the deer park are under tight control, on leads or harnesses that they cannot slip from, being held by someone strong enough to hold them if they get excited. As well as the potential harm to the deer a herd of panicked deer could also be a danger to people. Children are often not strong enough to hold on to a large dog, so please consider the safety aspects if you are bringing your dog into the park and make sure that they cannot get loose.
On a happier subject, the wardens are looking forward to getting into some tree planting and over the coming months we will be preparing the guards, placing them in their correct positions near older and veteran trees and planting. These trees will be the great parkland trees of the future. The action of planting a tree is in itself a simple exercise, but a great amount of planning and foresight is required - these trees will not be mature for several hundred years but we need to plan now how that tree will look when it is fully grown, how it will fit into the designed Repton landscape, how the views and sightlines will be affected and how different species of tree are affected by changing climates and disease. This is not the kind of work that provides instant results - none of us will live to see these trees in their full glory! But we will do what we can to give future generations an Attingham filled with beautiful trees, teeming with diverse life and full of history.