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The Japanese Garden at Tatton Park

Tatton Park is an estate in Cheshire not far from Altrincham and Hale, being just off the M6 and M56 it is conveniently situated for most of the country.

The centre of the estate is a Neo-Classical Mansion set in 50 acres of landscaped gardens surrounded by 1,000 acres of deer park. Within the estate is a Tudor Old Hall and a rare-breed farm as well as a restaurant, shops, playground and educational facilities.

Each year Tatton hold a number of events which are open to the general public at very reasonable prices.

During the winter months the deer (they have both Red and Fallow deer) have their feed supplemented with carrots; every day the rangers take their trailer full of carrots and the deer come running!

Last December I joined their Deer Feed & Trailer Ride which takes place over a few days each December. Although you have to stay in the trailer you do get quite close to the deer which is really nice.

The light levels were quite low but I think this photo shows you how special the experience can be.

Back in May I joined in the Out of Bounds Walk where an experienced ranger takes you on a guided walk around the fringes of the park which are normally closed to the public so we got to see areas of the park I had not seen before.

This month (October) I went on the Autumn Deer Walk. The shortening days and cooler weather triggers the rut all around the country; Tatton included. This is the time when the male deer compete to mate with the females which results in posturing and bellowing by the males; a noise which vibrates around the park.

The best time of day to see the most action is after 6pm when the sun begins to go down so the photograph is a bit grainy but, again, it shows how close you can get but you do have to be careful not to get too close!

There are some wonderful photographs of the rut on Tatton’s blog so take a look.

The highlight for me this year was Unlocking the Secrets of the Japanese Garden. As a regular visitor to Tatton I had seen the Japanese Garden many times but always from a distance as the general public aren’t allowed into the garden due to its size and the fact that many of the trees and structures date back to 1910.

The head gardener took us through a presentation of the history of the garden then we took off for the garden; and luck was with us as the sun was shining which brought out the lovely autumn colours of the Japanese Maples. It was a lovely afternoon and I hope my photographs do it justice.

The events at Tatton Park are well worth investigating. Take a look at the calendar to check availability.