The gardens of Walton Estate situated on the outskirts of Warrington are stunning whatever time of year you visit. Rhododendrons and azaleas provide a blaze of colour during spring and summer, competing with the beauty of the meticulously planted beds throughout the gardens. As autumn appears, the trees take on hues of red, orange and gold, perfect for a woodland walk.
Look out for our outdoor events throughout the year with particular highlight this year being the visit of Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on 20 July as well as some great outdoor theatre and the return of the Walton Film Festival towards the end of summer. It’s all going on at Walton Gardens.
Plants and wildlife at Walton Estate
Walton’s gardens have been shaped over decades and are home to exotic plants and some unusual animals.
The pond at Walton, built in the 1920s for Lady Daresbury, is a magnet for wildlife and home to numerous carp, frogs, toads, newts and insects. In the 1980s the pond was refurbished and new features including the waterfall were added.
When the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film was released in the 1990s, a pet terrapin craze swept the country. As the pets grew in size some became unwanted and many people decided to abandon their exotic pets in Walton Gardens’ pond. In 1997, The Warrington Guardian published the story: Unwanted and abandoned…exotic pets craze turns sour. The terrapins continue to live in the pond today, we have counted up to six! How many can you count?
Walton’s pond is frequently visited by small mammals and amphibians, and by herons feeding on fish. Kingfishers can sometimes be seen early in the morning and tawny owls are regular feathered visitors, hunting small mammals, rodents, small birds, frogs, fish, insects and worms.
The Greenall family, who lived at Walton Hall between 1814 and 1938, planted many of the trees found in the gardens today. Noteworthy trees include a redwood located behind the formal gardens, two yew trees in front of the hall and Lebanese Cypress in front of the conservatory range. Follow your nose and see if you can find our specimen known locally as ‘the candyfloss tree’ because of its distinctive scent.
Darren Moston Photography
You may have seen Darren’s name on our social media platforms as he’s often credited with taking the amazing pictures of our animals in the Children’s zoo. Darren is a very talented photographer and has been taking photos now for 10 years. He started with a pocket camera and has been taking wildlife photos ever since but with a better camera! Suffering with depression Darren finds solace in photography and can often be found taking pictures of our friendly animals, particularly the red squirrels, or of the wider estate. Most of his work is exhibited throughout this website.