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, 29 July 2012

One warden and her dog

This week has had one key theme for me - dogs. Last weekend there was a bit of a commotion as a visiting dog managed to slip its lead and began to bark threateningly at another. He was difficult to catch and a few young people were upset at the noise, but eventually the owner and several staff managed to get it under control and the dog was taken home to calm down. It can be quite upsetting to observe such things, and even more emotional for the owners of all the dogs involved - I have met several people now who are shocked at how their normally reserved and well-behaved dog can 'lose it' and act aggressively, and then of course there is the stress for the other dog that is under attack. That is one of the reasons that we have to ask visitors to keep close control of their dogs at all times - you just never know how an animal will react. With our high visitor numbers, many of whom are young children, we need to ensure that the Park is safe and welcoming place for those with and without dogs - one of the daily challenges faced by the National Trust! I love that Attingham allows dogs on the property (not all Trust properties do) because it's a great way to meet some of our regular visitors.

Monday saw another canine incident - I received an urgent call from reception that a dog was stuck in the river and couldn't get out and could possibly be hurt. Duncan rushed off to find the exact location while I got some ropes and life rings. When I arrived on site one of the owners was in the river trying to help the dog out - a Newfoundland no less! We managed to get the dog and owner out safely, and luckily the dog was not hurt. I think he simply didn't have the strength to get himself out of the water and up the steep bank with his thick coat weighing him down. While we do not enforce a 'no dogs in the water' policy at Attingham we do not encourage owners to let their dogs get in the river - it has very steep muddy banks and can flow surprisingly fast. It could also be dangerous if people jump in to try and help their animal. So a plea from all of us at Attingham - please be careful, keep your dog close by and under control, and avoid them getting in the water!

. So that was the start of the week; now we get to the end of it and the most exciting part (for me at least) - I have a new puppy! His name is Max. He didn't get the best start in life - he and his brother were found dumped in a bag in a lake. Miraculously they were found and handed in to my partner's mother, who cares for all kinds of abandoned or abused animals. She got them back into good health and now we have one of them. He still needs his final jabs before I can start bringing him for walks around the Park but I can't wait - he will love it. I have wanted a dog since I was a young child so he is a dream come true for me! Attingham will offer us a space for walks and socialising with other dogs, and once he is well-trained we can enjoy letting him off the lead in the specified off-lead areas (part of the Mile Walk, part of the Deer Park Walk and, in the winter months, the Mile Meadow when the farmer is not using his meadow.) There are 7 dog waste bins around the site to keep clean and tidy after him, and dogs are even allowed in the deer park (but MUST be on a lead and kept close to protect the deer from stress and harm). There are maps available in reception for anyone who wants one showing the location of the dog bins and the paths, but as I empty the bins every week thats something I know a little too well already!
Meet Max!


  1. Looks like a lovely little Dog.

    Have to say that my Wife and I love the fact that dogs are allowed in Attingham, and regularly bring our three along.

    Having just rehomed another young Lurcher, I have been introducing her to the sights & sounds of Attingham, much to her delight.

    Long my the policy continue.

  2. Brilliant, lovely to hear! See you around the park, Max will be out and about in a few weeks to meet everyone :)

  3. Keep up the good work being dog friendly, 99% of dog owners always abide by the rules. I think that's one of the reasons why AP gets so many visitors, other NT places are missing out by not letting dogs in, taking the 1% as the reason not to let them in:(
    Congratulations on your bundle of joy Max. Your right about it being a good place to socialise pups Mom would sit with me on the seat going into the park and just let every one walk by.
    Hope we get to meet one day
    Have a good week
    See Yea George xxx

  4. Thank you George, we're looking forward to seeing you!