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, 13 October 2013

The Rut

The deer have been rutting for a couple of weeks now and many visitors have had the chance to observe the bucks as they groan and bellow to attract females and fight with other bucks. The sound of their antlers clattering together can be heard from quite a distance and if you stop and watch quietly you will probably see the show. During the rut the males stop eating and spend their time calling to females, fighting and mating - all that energy being used up means that they can lose up to 25% of their bodyweight. The older bucks hold rutting 'stands', their own areas, so you will see bucks all over the park at this time of year. I watched this one thrashing his antlers about in the bracken before wandering off, giving himself an attractive wig?!

If you are out for a walk this week, watch out for the display of fungi on show at the moment - around the deer park and mile walk in particular. Huge parasols and field mushrooms can be seen popping up all over the place, and make good eating if you know what to look for - however, I wouldn't recommend eating any mushrooms you pick yourself unless you have had some training and experience! Edible or not, I think that fungi are fascinating things and can be quite beautiful so I always make sure I have my camera on me when I take a walk around the Park at the moment.

Finally, a bit of what we have been up to this last week. The hedge at Duncote farm continues to be cleared and laid, the boardwalk over the pond has been painted with grip paint, timber for the biomass boiler has been cut and stored for drying, acorns have been collected from key oaks across the Park to grow more of our own stock and our timber store has been tidied and filled wth more of the recently milled wood. For anyone that is thinking of buying firewood from us this year and has not already heard, we won't be able to sell any this year - we now have 6 wood burning stoves plus the biomass boiler across the site and we need to work out exactly how much wood they will use up over the winter. It is time consuming to process and store the logs so for now we can only manage to supply our own needs.

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