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Council to receive £1m grant from Heritage Lottery Fund

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Tatton Dale Farm offers families an ideal place to see and interact with farm animals, including rare breeds, such as Leicester longwool sheep and Gloucestershire old spot pigs, indoor and outdoor play areas and lots of fun events such as lambing fortnight, dog shows and sheep racing.

But the farm has a lot more to offer and this grant recognises the potential to explore and share the farm’s wide ranging heritage, which is currently hidden away in archives or closed to the public.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) investment, along with a grant from the Tatton Park Charitable Trust, will help fund an exciting new project called ‘Field to Fork’, depicting the tale of two centuries of farming at Tatton Dale Farm.

Fascinating history has been discovered recently, such as the story of miller Richard Toft, who ran the impressive three-storey agricultural mill in the 19th century for more than 30 years, earning just three shillings for a six-day working week, grinding grain.

The mill is just one of the areas that will be restored to its former glory and opened to the public, with original mill machinery up and running, guided tours, interactive models, a ‘soundscapes’ experience as well as a unique ‘digital app’ to enjoy.

Councillor Sam Gardner, Cheshire East Cabinet member for leisure and open spaces, said: “This is fantastic news and the team at Tatton deserves huge credit for securing this significant capital investment.

“Tatton’s staff and volunteers have worked really hard on this project for the past two years and these funds will help turn the farm into a unique heritage attraction that will appeal to both adults and children alike and give all our visitors a brilliant, educational and inspiring experience.”

Sara Hilton, head of the HLF North West, added: “Tatton Dale is a rare surviving example of a country estate farm that led innovations in food production for two centuries.

“It’s already a treasured place for families to spend time and now this National Lottery support will help open up the farm’s most historic areas – some to the public for the first time.

“It will also introduce school children and other visitors to hundreds of years’ worth of agricultural and technological progress and demonstrate why this history is still so relevant for us today.” The ‘field to fork’ story will be told through the mouths of former farm workers and the estate family members, the farm buildings (some of which will be open to the public for the first time), machinery, animals and traditional agricultural skills. A visit will provide an intriguing and enjoyable exploration of this uniquely well-preserved window into the story of farming and food production at Tatton Park.

The focus will be on the history of food production for Tatton’s large country estate from the 18th to 20th centuries and the contemporary relevance to our food today, where it comes from and the importance of healthy eating. 

Demonstrations of traditional agricultural skills will include horse ploughing, cheese making and hedge laying and include lots of learning opportunities for children and adults alike.

The project will also encourage local community involvement, with new volunteer opportunities such as researching archives and recording oral histories, machinery restoration, supporting guided tours and helping with demonstrations.

Initiatives, such as healthy eating sessions, will be offered to help groups with health and learning needs, families from deprived areas and other disadvantaged groups. Farming career days for young people will also be a feature. 

Read more on our dedicated Farm pages.

Notes to Editors:

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, the HLF invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. For more information, visit: www.hlf.org.uk


Please visit our website www.tattonpark.org.uk or call 01625 374400 for more information.

For further information, please contact Lisa Senior on 01625 374416 (lisa.senior@cheshireeast.gov.uk) or Carole Mullineux on 01625 374410 (carole.mullineux@cheshireeast.gov.uk)

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust.

This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 800,000 visitors every year all of whom come to enjoy its Georgian Mansion, Medieval Old Hall, award-winning Gardens and rare breeds Farm. The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, an adventure playground, restaurants and a year-round events programme.

The Tatton Park Vision

The `Tatton Park Vision’ is the park’s 5 year vision for its visitor activities and aims to substantially develop its visitor experience by increasing the attractions and activities on offer. In delivering the vision the aim is to fully realise Tatton Park’s potential and present the best possible experience for its current and new visitors in order to provide new and sustainable income to help manage and conserve the historic estate into the future. This will be done through a programme of investment by Cheshire East Council and the attraction of new business. For more information about the vision visit www.tattonpark.org.uk/vision