At Charlecote Park we have over 250 acres of parkland, 180 fallow deer and 170 Jacob sheep. One of our key responsibilities is to make sure that the park is safe and that all of our livestock is fed and well. To do this we complete a full park check every morning 365 days a year.
I was looking after the park and garden on Saturday so the park check was my responsibility. Now normally I can be stuck in the office all day so a morning in the park is a special treat.
My first job is to feed the deer in West Park. This really is the best way to start the day because the herd love the deer nuts and they will let you get extra close to them. Whilst they are feeding we check the deer to make sure that they are all well and healthy. This is key at this time of year because most of the does will be pregnant and the bucks (male fallow deer) have just come out of the rut which means that they will have lost a lot of body weight.
After checking the herd it’s off round the rest of the Park to make sure the trees are safe – We have over one thousand parkland trees and around 250 of these are classed as ancient, veteran and notable. We also check all of our fences on a daily basis.
Next stop Polo Field to check the Sheep. We keep our rams and breeding ewes here. We have recently finished tupping so all of our girls are painted in red, green or blue depending in which ram they were put with. We are looking forward to lambing starting in early April
However it’s not all about the parkland so after completing my rounds I went to help Tim, our Assistant Visitor Services Manager, put up a gazebo on the Cedar Lawn ready for the brass band. After this we popped in to the grotto to make sure that Santa and his elf was ok and ready for all of the day’s visitors.
And finally it’s back to the office where we are met by Jana our lovely volunteer photographer. She had brought us in a huge box of delicious handmade chocolates – I think that it would be considered rude not to try one (or two!)
So the brass band is playing Christmas tunes, Santa is in his grotto, the deer are fed, my multi coloured sheep are happy, all is well in the park and we have a lovely big box of chocs.
Some days I think that I have the best job in the world!
Lisa, Park & Garden Manager