The gardens of Walton Hall and Gardens 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. After summer, the trees take on autumn hues of red, orange and gold, perfect for a woodland walk.
Plants and wildlife at Walton Hall and Gardens
The gardens at Walton 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 inevitably grew in size, some became unwanted, and many people decided to abandon their exotic pets in Walton Gardens’ pond. As a result, 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’ve counted up to six! How many can you count?
The pond at our gardens is frequently visited by small mammals and amphibians, and by herons feeding on fish. If you’re fortunate, you might spot a kingfisher early in the morning. Besides kingfishers, tawny owls are other regular feathered visitors, hunting small mammals, rodents, birds, frogs, fish, insects and worms.
Similarly, the gardens are teeming with woodland birds from jays, chaffinches, long-tailed tits, robins and if you’re beady-eyed even the odd goldcrest. The morning chorus is quite something.
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. So, 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 credited on our social media platforms next to fantastic pictures of our animals in the Children’s zoo. Darren is a very talented photographer and has been taking photos now for ten years. He started with a pocket camera and has been taking wildlife photos ever since but with a better camera! Suffering from depression, Darren finds solace in photography. Darren is often taking pictures of our friendly animals, particularly the red squirrels, or of the wider estate. This website showcases a lot of his work (all rights reserved). So, see if you can spot his photos…
Andy Gilbert photography
Andy Gilbert, who belongs to the Friends of Walton Estate, regularly takes photographs of our hall and gardens. You’ll see a lot of his work on this page and in our glasshouses section (all rights reserved), where Andy took regular photos of the conservatories as they rose from the ashes! A talented photographer, Andy’s pictures are full of life and colour.