The deer now start to drop their antlers and grow new ones, while moulting into their brighter Summer coats. Their body condition will improve as the grass begins to grow - we have been lucky that we’ve had very few mortalities over the lean winter period. It’s also lambing time for our rare breeds of sheep. Tatton Park has two flocks - Hebridean (pictured) and Soays, which all lamb outside unaided. It is important that they are left alone while lambing and should not be disturbed.
During the Spring many migrant birds arrive. The first to arrive is the Sand Martin which will appear over Tatton Mere in early March. They are closely followed by the Chiffchaff and other warbler species which fill the woodlands with beautiful song as they defend territory and attract a mate. Our resident birds nest early, including Tawny Owls, Ravens and Herons. There’s also a chance to see an Osprey flying over in spring! We have had a pair of Stonechats winter at Tatton and have had regular sightings of Goosander, Pintail and Wigeon on the meres. Two Barn Owls were seen near to a potential nest site and a pair of Ring Necked Parakeets were an unusual sight by the Adventure Playground on 21st February. Good numbers of Woodcock were also seen over winter in the woodlands.
All Britain’s bats have been hibernating over the cold winter period, conserving energy whilst food is scarce. At this time of year as evenings become warmer, bats may sometimes be seen hunting as they try to replenish the body fat lost during their winter torpor. Now is also the time to look out for early butterflies such as Brimstone or Small Tortoiseshell.
Spring flowersThe Rangers are creating a new educational trail for spring 2018, for Tatton Park’s Field to Fork project within the Parkland. It will have information boards to follow throughout the trail, taking in many interesting features including our Ice House, which was built in 1856. The First Ice house at Tatton Park was in 1770 and was used for the storage of food from throughout the estate to feed the estate workers. The map will be availble on our website shortly, and at the entrance kiosks.
The arrival of wildflowers in spring transforms many woodlands as they make the most of the light reaching the ground before the canopy emerges fully. Bluebells flower early (mid April to late May) and Dog wood provides a spectacular carpet. Further thinning and coppicing works on the eastern side should encourage more flowering with the opening of glades and the decrease in canopy cover. Other woodland flowers to look out for include: Wood Anemone, Marsh Marigold (pictured) and Lesser Celandine.
For children who are interested in exploring the park on two wheels, why not join the Rangers for a ‘cycling boredom buster’, discovering ‘out of bounds’ farmland trails and woodland singletrack. (Tue 10th April and Tues 30th May). Booking is essential - please phone 01625 374428 for more information.
Complied by Tatton’s Ranger Team
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Free Parkland Explorer Booklet - Compiled by Tatton’s ranger team
Download your own copy of the Parkland Explorer Booklet (PDF, 1.5MB), designed by Tatton's Rangers!
Learn how to be an expert tracker, twitcher and observer of all the beautiful, natural elements of Tatton Park. This is a fantastic way for children and their families to explore the Parkland, with 16 pages of fun activities.
Volunteering with the Rangers
If you are interested in helping our Rangers maintain our estate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com or give us a call on 01625 374414.