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, 8 September 2016

Farewell everyone!

Colin with a growing mountain of wood chip
My sincerest apologies for the silence over the last few months! There has been a lot less time in the office and a lot more out on projects and surveys as we made the most of the summer and started on one of our biggest tasks - the new biomass burner. To get the property off heating oil we are installing the NT's largest woodchip boiler to date, and the Rangers are now responsible for providing the quality chip that will feed the burner and heat the Stables and Mansion. There is a huge amount of work involved in this, from carrying out the woodland management and selective tree felling, winching the trees in, transporting the timber and stacking it to dry, splitting and chipping the timber, storing the chip and once the building work is complete we will need to bring the tractor and trailer around to fill the hopper several times a week. Building work in front of the Stables has been going on for weeks and the burner is due to be switched on at the end of September.

Painted Lady butterfly feeding on a thistle
We have recently finished some butterfly surveys along four 1km routes that are feeding in to a national database to monitor the state of common species on farmland. Butterflies have been in decline for many years and we hope that these surveys will show patterns that link to different land management practices so that we can help these beautiful insects to make a comeback. We found a range of species including Small and Large White, Comma, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock, Small Copper, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White and Small Tortoiseshell.

Our volunteers have worked tirelessly this summer to keep the Park walks and wider Estate tidy with lots of strimming and mowing to keep the grass and weeds at bay, picking ragwort, repairing fences, monitoring the fishing routes, managing the camp site and play field, helping all the other departments with tents and marquees, collecting timber, producing cleft oak pales, repairing trailers and signs and all the other dozens of jobs that we come up with each week! A huge thank you to all of you for your hard work and dedication whatever the weather.

One of many fantastic memories - assisting with ringing
baby Barn owls in one of our boxes
I am quite sad as I write this because it is my last blog post as a Ranger here at Attingham, and the final post of this particular blog. I am moving to start a new position at another property which is very exciting but I will really miss the team and this beautiful Estate! It has been a brilliant nine years and thank you to everyone that has followed my updates and pictures. Attingham Park will always be a very special place and I look forward to coming back to visit and see what's new.