A brighter future for ancient parkland

It’s nearly 500 years since the first ‘deer park’ was created at Chatsworth – but a scheme to give the park and its trees a healthy future is well underway, as Rosie Gilligan reports.

THERE CAN BE FEW MORE PLEASURABLE EXPERIENCES than taking an early morning walk among the ancient oaks in Chatsworth Park. In winter and early spring, frost lingers on the ground while a low sun rakes the sides of bare trunks and branches. Oaks produce leaves later than many other trees, but as sheep and their lambs are let out to pasture, tiny clusters of buds appear. In autumn,  russet red, brown and yellow leaves cling to centuries-old branches before falling to carpet the grass below…

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