Haddon Hall's medieval deer park opens to public for first time

Visitors to Haddon Hall will be able to find out about the rare plants and animal species that inhabit its medieval deer park which is one of the oldest in the country.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 3:58 pm
Parkland walks in Haddon Hall's medieval deer park will be launched for the first time this summer.
Parkland walks in Haddon Hall's medieval deer park will be launched for the first time this summer.

The deer park is being opened to the public for the first time this year when daily presentations – one historical and the other ecological – will be launched on July 8.

There will also be a number of two-hour parkland walks throughout the summer.

Tickets for the parkland presentations are included within the admission for Haddon Hall while the walks are an additional cost of £25 per person.

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Haddon Hall nestling among trees.

Given the top grading on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, the deer park’s roots stretch back to the mid 1300s when the estate was owned by the Vernons. The parkland subsequently provided a playground for sporting pursuits for aristocrats, created a supply of venison, provided wood for fuel and construction and a place to rear and graze other livestock.

In 1782 the 4th and 5th Dukes of Rutland converted the majority of the medieval deer park into field systems.

The current custodian, Lord Edward Manners, decided in 2009 to restore the medieval parkland, reverting two-thirds of the farmed land to woodland pasture.

Lord Edward said: “Our ambition for the Medieval Deer Park has been to create a paradise of rich biodiversity, within a park of historical importance, protecting, encouraging and supporting nature, while creating a place of education and learning for all generations. A visit to the Medieval Park is a truly worthwhile experience, which will enrich our knowledge of the world around us.”

Lord Edward Manners on the Haddon Hall estate.

Two years ago, Haddon Estate received funding from Natural England and DEFRA for the continuation of its Medieval Parkland Restoration Plan. The intention is to complete the restoration of the parkland to its original 14th century plan and to return the landscape to a naturally regenerative open woodland pasture.

To book tickets for a Parkland Walk, go to www.haddonhall.co.uk

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