Explore the parkland at Charlecote this summer
Charlecote’s tranquil parkland is the perfect place to picnic, play or wander all year round. Clear your mind with a gentle stroll through the wildlife-rich meadows.
This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and does not reflect the current situation. Unfortunately, in order to keep people safe and maintain social distancing, parts of the parkland at Charlecote are currently closed to visitors. Our trails and talks programme is also suspended for the time being.
Find out more about how we look after this special habitat and about our wildlife by joining a free guided park walk when you visit. We depend on our lovely volunteers to lead the walks - just ask what's happening today on your way in, no need to book ahead
Pick up our tree walk guide or bird spotter sheet on your way in and maybe discover something new and get more out of your visit.
Bring your binoculars
Our riverside setting is a wildlife haven and it’s an ideal spot for birdwatching. Our licensed ornithologists check nests and nestboxes and keep an eye on the birds throughout the year, producing a detailed report for us.
There has been a fallow deer herd at Charlecote for centuries, and legend has it that a young William Shakespeare was prosecuted for poaching here. We manage the herd to the highest possible welfare standards and our venison has won Fine Farm Food awards.
Please never approach the deer. They are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Even our Ranger and her team never handle the deer.
The deer happily share the parkland with our pedigree herd of Jacob sheep. Did you know that George Lucy introduced the very first flock of Jacobs to England from Portugal in 1755?
Look out for the Devon Red Poll cattle across the river in Camp Ground, brought in by a local farmer.
Bringing in this small rare-breed herd benefits both the owner and livestock as there is plenty of grazing here. Our wildlife benefits too, as the cattle are less selective when they graze and create a varied grass height, favourable for many insects, birds and other wildlife.
Caring for our environment
As part of the Higher Level Stewardship scheme we manage the grassland and rivers for the benefit of the insects, invertebrates, mammals, birds and plants that co-exist here.
We look after our ancient trees in the park and manage our rare fruit varieties in the orchard. Our annual Tree Survey checks the condition of every tree in the parkland.
Over several years we have been planting thousands of wildflowers throughout our meadows, ideal for insects and a delight for our visitors.
Flowing through the park are both Shakespeare's Avon and its tributary the little river Dene, meeting at the cascade. They add diversity to the wildlife in the parkland throughout the year and we've installed an eel bypass too.
Walking near water is proven to help relaxation and you'll find benches near the cascade to sit and enjoy the tranquillity too.
Centuries of tradition
Have you noticed the traditional cleft oak paling fencing? This is a rural craft that we're delighted to be able to keep alive. The varied heights of the panels confuse the deer so that they don't jump over the fence, although they easily could!
The family church
Your parkland stroll will bring you to St Leonard’s church, rebuilt by Mary Elizabeth Lucy in memory of her husband.
Please note that the gate is one-way and does not allow re-entry to the parkland.