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, 23 September 2012

7 Days canoe fun!

This post comes with the help from volunteer warden Martin - thank you for all the pictures! Martin helped to build the jetty that the canoes were launched from at the 7 Days event and then he and his wife enjoyed a paddle along the Tern on the Saturday. It looks like a lot of fun, plus they even spotted some otters! I'm very jealous - I have seen otters along the Severn but not yet on the Tern.

Hi Martin!
It's a little blurry but unmistakably an otter
Seeing Attingham from a whole new perspective

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Autumn arrives

I need to update the last month! It has been very busy over the last of the summer holidays, the 7 Days event and the start of autumn (plus I had a week of holiday somewhere in there too). Never a dull moment!

7 Days was a success with some fantastic talks, walks and events to take part in. The pond dipping on the deer park was very popular, plus the experts spotted and photographed a species of dragonfly that I believe has not been found there before - a black darter (Sympetrum danae). I missed seeing it but its one to look out for next year - they are the only black dragonfly in the UK (males being black, the females a dark brown) and are very attractive. The scaffold platform in the orchard has been a great success, offering a fantastic view of the walled garden and orchard from above - you don't realise how big it is (or how straight the gardeners manage to plant their rows!) until you see it from high up. Hopefully there will be similar events in the future for visitors, volunteers and staff to enjoy.

Milly chisels a post to allow the rails
to fit snugly in place
In the last few weeks we have also had some big weekend events - the Carriage Parade and Food Fair. I managed to miss them while I was on holiday but am told they were popular and kept our staff busy! This weekend you can go along to Sunnycroft in Wellington for their Michaelmas Fair, and the weekend after that is Attingham's Harvest Fair so that will keep me busy. The wardens help with the setting up of most large events and it often takes a day or more to set up all the tents and marquees, transport tables, chairs and other equipment (including a large solid oak apple press for the events mentioned above!) and prepare the car parks; then there is another days work to take it all down again.

Buffy and Martin dig in a gate post
Now that we are into autumn once more our volunteers have started to get ready for hedgelaying by coppicing hazel stakes and binders on Wenlock Edge. This week the teams have also been building a fence in the new play field that will enclose the Greedy Pig catering unit in its new position - the posts are sweet chestnut (long lasting without  the need for chemical treatment like softwood posts), the rails douglas fir from Dudmaston Estate and we will be using elm, sycamore and hazel from around the Attingham Estate to make the uprights.
Work continues on a new walk that will be opening in the next month or two, and we are also processing logs when possible - now that the chilly autumn evenings have arrived the log orders are coming in fast! We sell seasoned hardwood at £90 per delivered load (within the Shrewsbury area) as a way to make use of  trees felled when thinning out woodland or to use up timber that is not suitable for milling.

Finally, a Max update - he is growing fast and loving his walks around the park. Here he is after a particularly energetic one!