EAT, SLEEP, GARDEN, REPEAT.
Life beyond the gates may be dormant, but Tatton Park is all of a flourish
Tatton Park may be closed, but there’s still more than a wheelbarrow-full of work to do. It’s the height of the season, and for head gardener Simon Tetlow – who is one of the many parents trying to juggle his new daily work routine with homeschooling the kids – it’s business as usual.
Not so much for the park. Tatton Park officially closed its doors on March 23rd, and things since have been very surreal. “It’s eerily quiet here at the moment,” Simon says. “We’re familiar with being around hundreds of thousands of people, so it’s a very strange place. There are times I walk around the park early morning or in the evenings, and you get this sense that it is nothing without the people.”
From watering the 1850s’ tree collection twice daily to irrigating the lawns and keeping tabs on the emerging spring, staff are working around the clock to keep things ticking. Trying to work with social distancing rules, however, is “a bit of a headache”.
On the one hand, there are 55 acres to play with, but on the other, there’s still only the same number of offices, toilets and meeting points. And then there are the 75 volunteers who are getting increasingly frustrated at being stuck at home.
“They’re a vital part of the team and we’re really missing them,” Simon says.
But there are some positives. The park has turned to keeping visitors digitally active, offering tours of the park on mobile app Candide Gardening. Simon audibly explores the 19 areas of Tatton Park’s