DOGS must be kept on leads when people visit Tatton Park to protect the deer which are calving.

The plea comes from Cheshire East Cabinet member Nick Mannion, who said some visitors did not appreciate measures in place to protect the wildlife as the parkland reopened on Wednesday.

Tatton Park had been closed since March 23 following the lockdown announced by the government.

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

Cllr 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, June 8, along with takeaway food and the Housekeeper’s Store for local and estate-reared produce soon.

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

For opening times and access arrangements for Tatton Park visit or keep in touch via Facebook or Twitter.