TATTON Park’s Home Farm manager has this week marked an impressive 25 years at the Knutsford estate.
A lot has happened down on the farm in the past quarter of a decades due in part to the passion and commitment farm manager Jayne Chapman has invested in her workplace.
Home Farm has been open to the public for more than 30 years and since Jayne joined in 1989 it has seen the number of visitors grow to almost 100,000 a year. It remains the farm it was in the 1930s when in its heyday it was the power house of the Egerton Tatton estate feeding family, guests and staff as well as servicing the park.
A graduate of Reaseheath agricultural college, 49-year-old Jayne’s first job at the farm was milking in the shippon as a farm ranger.
Over the past 25 years the farm has been home to thousands of births – more than 800 piglets, 1,000 lambs and 100 calves.
Many of these have been rare breeds which the farm works hard to protect.
Jayne said her favourite breeds are the Shire and Clydesdales of which the farm has produced six foals.
“New life never ceases to amaze me,” she said.
“Seeing a newly born calve’s first attempt to stand or.a litter of piglets all contentedly suckling while Mum grunts her approval is priceless.”
Jayne has represented the farm in meeting a number of royals over the years the highlight of which has to be introducing the farm’s Clydesale horse Ceaser to the queen during her Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.
Other highlights for Jayne include the success in developing the farm to give visitors an even better experience.
As part of the Tatton Vision the farm has seen investment over the past 2 years including the introduction of a woodland playtrail, a woodland story telling area, a themed maize maze and the chance to build your own den.
Jayne added: “What you can’t beat though is seeing a farm full of interested and happy families meeting our lovely animals and leaving a little wiser about farming life with a smile on their face – that’s one of the reasons we come to work.”
Over the years Jayne has developed a programme of events at the farm her personal favourites being the Harvest Festival in September and the annual Fun Dog Show.
Through most of the 25 years Jayne has had her faithful collie by her side – Raff for 10 years and now 11 years with Kippie the Collie.
Ruth Dalton, Rare Breeds Survival Trust Field Officer in the north, added: “Jayne's enthusiasm for rare breeds and the fantastic team she has at the farm have built up a close working relationship between RBST and Tatton Home Farm - in the last year this has resulted in us loaning Tatton one of our rarest cattle, a Northern Dairy Shorthorn heifer, and a flock of Whitefaced Woodland sheep which are due to lamb for the first time this Spring.”