Survival is a priority in winter for Tatton’s wildlife. Food
becomes scarce and the cold weather takes its toll. At this time of
year, the rangers feed the deer every day with carrots and haylage
to help them maintain condition.
The rut has now ended. Unfortunately this
year, two stags died. Having locked their antlers together while
fighting, they became inseparable, falling into the mere and
drowning. As it is well known, Tatton is home to Red and Fallow
Deer but truly wild species of deer have been recorded in the park.
Roe Deer have been sighted on numerous occasions and recently a
Muntjac Deer was seen. Both species are expanding their range.
Birds now gather in large flocks, especially
woodland species that can forage together and exploit food sources.
Winter migrants have now arrived. Beech Walk is a good place to
look for Bramblings, a finch species closely related to the
Chaffinch which feeds on Beech mast.
A rare Great Northern Diver was seen briefly
on Tatton Mere on the 9th October and a Barn Owl seen on the
20th. Three male and one female Mandarin Duck were on the Mill Pool
on the 23rd. Typical winter visitors to Tatton that have been seen
recently included over 100 Pink-Footed Geese flying over on the
23rd November, Woodcock have now arrived and Stonechat can
sometimes be seen on rushes at the mere edges. Winter is a
good time to see our resident Ravens as they expand their home
range in search of food, their distinctive call can often be heard
before they are seen.
Over the winter period we will be leading
various activities such as trailer rides observing the deer feeding
and a winter wildfowl watch with the Knutsford Ornithological
Beech Walk is the avenue on the western edge
of the parkland which runs northwards from Knutsford to the
choragic monument in the gardens. Originally planted in the mid
18th century, many of the trees are entering the ancient
phase of their lives. This phase may be the longest and it is
certainly the most valuable habitat wise – the dead and decaying
wood, numerous cracks and cavities all play host to a vast range of
plant, animal, bird and fungi species. A recent Fungal Foray,
organised by the rangers and led by FungalPunk Dave found
over 150 fungi species along Beech Walk. Being such large trees,
these defects present a considerable concern regarding visitor
safety. To maintain access underneath the trees, but adequately
minimise the risk, would require extensive tree surgery works.
However sensitively this was done, it would have a major
detrimental impact on this valuable habitat and landscape feature.
The National Trust and Natural England are keen to create a
conservation area to provide a refuge for the deer and wildlife,
while conserving Tatton’s special landscape and habitat for future
generations. This will prevent further compaction, but still
allow visitors to enjoy this magnificent avenue safely from its
edges rather than from within.
Lastly, we are very proud to announce that our
deer walks, “deer experiences”, won the award for
the best tourism experience in Cheshire at the annual
Marketing Cheshire awards for 2013.
Winter Deer Walks
Why not join our Rangers on one of our Winter
deer walks, taking place in the New Year, 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 email@example.com
(Booking in advance is essential, price includes park
Free Parkland Explorer Booklet - Compiled by Tatton’s ranger
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 on 01625 374414 or e-mail: TattonRangers@cheshireeast.gov.uk
The work undertaken by all our volunteers is
extremely valuable and much appreciated, allowing us to undertake a
wide variety of tasks and projects.