Tatton Park has successfully begun welcoming visitors to its newly-reopened parklands.

The popular visitor attraction reopened its gates to visitors on Wednesday 3 June for the first time since it was forced to close, following the lockdown announced by central government in March.

Walkers, cyclists and visitors arriving by car have been able to enjoy the 1,000 acres of picturesque parkland accessible to the public. Measures are in place to ensure the safety of visitors, volunteers, staff and wildlife.

Tatton Park has been closed since 23 March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulties in maintaining safe operations for visitors, staff and the local community. Like many other destination attractions, it has stayed closed in order to do its bit to limit the spread of coronavirus, avoid encouraging unnecessary travel to the area and support lockdown rules and guidance.

A change to government guidelines last week meant that some large outdoor visitor attractions can now reopen earlier than July. This gave clearance for Tatton, as well as National Trust properties such as Dunham Massey and Lyme Park, to implement the detailed phased plans that had been developed over the past weeks to enable them to open safely.

Tatton Park is operated by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust.

Government regulations are still in force for other types of outdoor attractions, such as Chester Zoo, which faces being closed indefinitely.

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “It felt wonderful to be able to open to visitors again on Wednesday. The weather wasn’t brilliant but, generally, things went well, although the day was not entirely without issues.

“Not all visitors appreciated all the measures in place for everyone’s peace of mind and to help the wildlife readjust to a parkland where visitors will be around.

“While we have all been staying at home, the wildlife has thrived and made new areas their home, In particular, the deer, which are calving at the moment and need to be given plenty of space.

“One of the new short-term regulations therefore, is that all dogs need to be on leads.  This is important to help protect the animals and enforce social distancing in line with government guidelines.

“Even without Tatton being open, the recent hot weather had already generated a lot of traffic to the area with the associated problems we have seen at other beauty spots locally and around the country. Wednesday’s weather helped to ensure new procedures had an opportunity to bed in without the overwhelming pressure we might have otherwise faced.”

It is hoped that, if everything continues to work well, further phases of the plan can be progressed with Tatton Park’s gardens opening to pre-booked visitors from Monday 8 June, along with takeaway food and the Housekeeper’s Store for local and estate-reared produce soon.


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