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.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Ravenwatch Part Three

We have flight! On Wednesday we first saw them flying a bit further afield than their tree, and today all three ravens were flying in wide circles and calling with their distinctive 'cronk cronk cronk'. Getting a picture was almost impossible but here is a bit of proof:

The wardens have been helping the garden and events teams this week in setting up for Spring Fair, putting up the marquees and the May Pole. We have also been clearing timber from the old ash plantation near the walled garden with the timber crane, mulching a hedgerow, cutting logs, investigating some old drainage tunnels, planning some new wildlife monitoring methods, repairing our composting toilet, clearing up the masses of litter dropped on the flood meadow as the water receded and three of our team have been doing their chainsaw course on the nearby Dudmaston Estate.

Horse chestnuts are nearly all in leaf now

The weather is warming and the Estate is springing to life: there are birds everywhere, the trees are bursting into leaf and wildflowers are popping up and daubing the landscape with colour. In the deer park the bucks are dropping their antlers - we collect as many as we can to use with our education groups and local schools as well as for props on guided walks. The herd is also starting to split up into different social groups - the older bucks tend to have their group, then the younger ones have theirs while the does start to hang back in the sanctuary areas in preparation for giving birth next month.

This little robin has been making quite an impression with us lately - it hangs around the trees by the deer park bridges and is so inquisitive that if you stand quietly enough with a little treat in your hand he jumps right in! Here, volunteer James has a close encounter - such a shame about that railing!

The wildflower bank near the clock tower at the back of the mansion is coming into bloom with the snakes-head fritillary looking particularly good - last year the rabbits nibbled off the heads before they could come out but this year our pest control is proving successful and the checked purple and white flowers can be seen cropping up all along the bank:

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