TATTON Park has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop its farm attraction.

The park hopes to ‘bring alive’ the agricultural, technological, social and cultural heritage of Tatton Dale Farm by creating a new visitor hub at the farm’s Agricultural Mill building.

HLF has awarded £76,600 in development funding to Tatton Park to help it make progress with its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

Tatton Park business development manager Carole Mullineux said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support.

“The ‘field to fork’ project is an exciting new initiative for us, which will give us the opportunity to attract new visitors, protect Tatton’s heritage assets and ultimately realise the farm’s potential.”

The project centres on the ‘field to fork’ story, told through the mouths of former workers, its buildings, machinery, livestock and traditional agricultural skills.

It covers the whole process of producing food for a large country estate from late 18th century to the 1950s; its contemporary relevance to food and healthy eating, and Cheshire’s wider farming heritage.

The project proposal comes at the right time, as National Curriculum changes mean all secondary school children will now be learning about food and cookery in their syllabus, with the aim of improving their diets.

The ‘field to fork’ story will build on this momentum by working with primary and secondary school teachers, Cheshire East Council, community groups, Reaseheath College, the University of Chester and the Food for Life partnership, who are recommending visiting a farm for every child.

Sara Hilton, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Tatton Dale Farm stands as a rare surviving example of agricultural technology and is of national historic importance.

“HLF’s initial support will help Cheshire East Council to develop their plans to open up the farm’s most historic areas – some to the public for the first time – and, under the ‘field to fork’ theme, introduce school children and local people to hundreds of years’ worth of agricultural and technological heritage.”