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Ground breaking Field to Fork project already inspiring visitors to Tatton Dale Farm looking to learn a new skill

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Heritage Lottery Funded project ‘Field to Fork: Two Centuries of Farming at Tatton Dale Farm’, which is set to be completed in 2018, is already sharing the agricultural, architectural, technological, social and cultural heritage of Tatton Dale Farm through an inspiring programme of learning courses taking place this year.

Visitors lucky enough to book a place on the bee keeping course on Sunday 15th May were rewarded with an afternoon of expertise from Graham Royle.

A number of other courses are still to take place this year inspired by past trades that played an integral part in Tatton Dale Farm’s sole purpose of keeping the Egerton family, their guests and workers on their huge country estate `fed and watered (and entertained).’

This is the start of a fascinating journey staff at Tatton Park are taking. The ultimate aim is to share the story of food production for a large country estate from the late 18th century to the 1950s. In doing so the farm’s contemporary relevance to food and healthy eating, ingenuity in agriculture and Cheshire’s wider farming heritage will also be appreciated.

The ‘field to fork’ story includes the whole process of producing food and the bee keeping course along side other courses this year share some of these intriguing methods. The role of animal care and husbandry provides another fascinating chapter of the story; feeding, milking, farrowing and butchering in the Farm slaughter house to provide food for the estate.

Farm Manager Jayne Chapman commented  “These courses are an opportunity to learn more about traditional food and farming practises. Our  tutors are all experts in their field and love to pass on the traditional skills that they hold. It really is a unique chance to have a go and learn more in the process”

Already taken place this year in addition to the Bee Keeping course is Home to Roost, an expert guide on keeping poultry. Still to take place this year are:-

  • Pigs Galore: Saturday July 9th, how to keep and rear rare breed pigs with farm resident expert Ben Edwards. A unique opportunity to get up close and personal with our lovely pigs and piglets.
  • Cheese making with Delamere Dairy: Saturday August 6th. Learn the fundamentals of cheese making with Delamere Dairy. It includes a milking demo in the shippon followed by a hands on demonstration of the cheese making process using goat milk. Learn about the elements of the milk to cheese process including choice of ingredients for different outcomes and the varying methods involved. 
  • Building a Dry Stone Walling: Saturday September 17th. A one-day introductory course to the craft of dry stone walling from scratch. Under the guidance of an expert dry stone waller, Giles Gaddum learn how to select the right stone, create the footings and make a start on building your own wall.
  • Ploughing with Heavy Horses: Saturday November 5th. A one day course with champion horse ploughman Jim Elliot of Beamish museum near Durham.  The course will be an introduction to heavy horse ploughing with a pair of horses including harnessing Jim’s very own team.

The above courses are prebookable on line or by calling 01625 374428.


Field to Fork is a major part of Tatton Park’s Vision, the park’s 5 year plan to develop its visitor experience by increasing the attractions and activities on offer. The Vision has already delivered a highly successful Gardener’s Cottage tea room, additional large scale events and new and unique high end functions facilities.

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, Tudor Old Hall, award- winning gardens and 1930s rare breeds farm.  The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, adventure playground, restaurant, a new Gardener’s Cottage tea room and year-round events programme.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 36,000 projects with more than £6bn across the UK.

‘Field to Fork’

The ‘field to fork’ story includes the whole process of producing food, from the growing of crops to provide animal feed, to the processing of this fodder such as corn at the Farm Mill. This in turn would go on to feed the farm’s livestock including pigs, sheep and cattle which would then provide food for the table at the mansion and manure for further crops at the farm and extensive kitchen garden. The role of animal care and husbandry provides another fascinating chapter of the story; feeding, milking, farrowing and butchering in the Farm slaughter house to provide food for the Egerton family, their guests, servants and estate workers. 

Facts and Links

A recent study by the British Nutrition Foundation questioned 27,500 children and found that nearly a third (29%) of primary school children think that cheese comes from plants; nearly one in five (18%) said that fish fingers come from chicken and one in ten secondary school children believe that tomatoes grow underground.

The changes to the National Curriculum in 2014 resulting in food technology now being a compulsory subject at Key Stage 3 and the introduction of core competencies for children around diet, health and cooking by the Food Standards agency both aim to improve children’s diets.  The ‘Field to Fork’ story will build on this momentum by working with local primary and secondary school teachers, Cheshire East Council, local community groups, Reaseheath College and the Food for Life partnership who are recommending visiting a farm for every child, recognising it as a life-changing experience.


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