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Tatton Park
Cycling in parkland by George Littler Autumn in the Parkland by Clemency West butterfly in parkland - Richard Dixon Anglers at Tatton by David Dukesell Beech Avenue by Adrian Bell Tatton Mere by David DukesellBeech Walk by Mark WilliamsonBellowing Deer on a misty morning, Mark WilliamsonDeer in front of the Mansion, Mark Williamson

Wildlife News

Autumn 2014green woodpecker

Green Woodpeckers continue to do well at Tatton as the parkland habitat is ideal for them. At least four pairs have nested this year including a pair at the Old Hall )where the picture opposite showing a fledgling was taken) They are often seen on the ground  feeding on ants, their specially adapted long sticky tongue aids extraction from the ant hills. Other interesting species seen recently include a Red Kite over the mansion and an Osprey attempting to dive for fish above Melchett Mere. The Egyptian Geese that have been resident all year, often seen on the R.H.S. site, were joined by a family of two adults and eight flying juveniles in August.

The South Lancashire Bat Group are continuing with their survey work. They have found a roost containing over thirty Noctules in Boathouse Wood. Even more interestingly, they have found a roost near to Melchett Mere which is used both by Noctules and Daubentons. They have also done some dawn surveys which resulted in the spectacular sight of over one hundred and fifty Soprano Pipistrelles returning to roost in the Old Hall.

Millennium Wood was a newly established plantation on ground which was previously open grazed parkland. Erecting a perimiter fence was necessary to permanently protect the growing  trees, shrubs and ground flora from Deer and Sheep.

We have attempted to introduce some wild flowers in the more open glades with varying degrees of success and have plans to expand on this in time with woodland specific species, particular to the woodland types represented in original the plan. This and other extensive tree work could not have been achieved without our valued Millennium volunteer group. In addition to this work however, we have had one or two pleasant surprises since planting in 2000. The first was the appearance of a small but welcome group of Broad-leaved Helleborine. This plant is quite common throughout the UK and can be found dotted around some of the more remote woodland in Tatton, but all some distance from Millennium Wood Whilst it is possible that seed has found its way here, we wonder if these plants are survivors from a long gone former woodland on this site, and have survived on vegetative growth, being unable to produce a flowering stem until now due to grazing. 

  More recently an even more interesting species has come to light. Initially, we thought we had a colony of seedling Lords-and-ladies, but as the weeks passed and they failed to grow any larger, upon closer inspection we found to our delight that we had a six square metre colony of Adder's-tongue Fern. This is a nationally scarce plant. It appears between June and August, spending the rest of the year underground dormant. It is considered a good indicator species of ancient meadows and can be found on woodland edges and rides.

Autumn is a special time in the life cycle of Tatton’s deer herds as it is when the annual rut takes place. Males battle over both territory and females ensuring the strongest genes are passed on for the benefit of  the herd in the future. Various interesting  aspects of  behaviour can be seen during the rut. Wallowing takes place in muddy pools that the deer scrape out with their hooves, sometimes urinating in them before covering their coats in mud. Antlers will be adorned with grass. Both of these activities are to make the animal appear more intimidating. The males call to warn away rivals and to attract females. The Red Deer have a long drawn out bellowing call while the Fallow Deer have a rasping, snorting call. Fallow Deer can also be seen ‘parallel ‘ walking, this is where rivals walk alongside each other ‘weighing each other up’red deer

If all else fails, and as a last option, fighting will begin. Antlers are locked together in what is basically a pushing match to determine which is the stronger animal. Fatalities do occur but are thankfully rare.

Photograph: A Red Deer bellowing (Photographed by Ben Pickersgill)

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The Ranger team will be running a series of AUTUMN Deer walks Summer deer walks
focusing on the calving season and providing opportunity to learn more about our famous deer. Tatton’s deer walks recently won ‘best tourism experience’ at Cheshire’s tourism awards, an award the Ranger team are extremely proud of. Tatton has now also been named ‘Large Visitor Attraction of the Year’ winner for 2014 in England, a very prestigious award which we are all highly delighted to win.

For further details on any of the activities and to book on an event, please contact our education team on 01625 374428.

Compiled by Tatton’s Ranger team

Autumn Deer Walks in 2014

Why not join our Rangers on one of our evening Autumn deer walks, taking place in October, It's a great way to get out and about and explore the parkland observing the deer in their natural habitat.

Call 01625 374428 to enquire or email tattoneducation@cheshireeast.gov.uk
(Booking in advance is essential, price includes park entry)

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. The booklet can be downloaded here (link through to parkland explorer page). You can also pick up a free copy of this booklet i

Volunteering with the Rangers

For further information on volunteering, please contact the ranger team: mark.sills@cheshireeast.gov.uk or call 01625 374414 to chat to someone.

The work undertaken by all our volunteers is extremely valuable and much appreciated, allowing us to undertake a wide variety of tasks and projects.



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