Visitors can enjoy extensive walks in the park with woodland trails and a wonderful spring bluebell display.
The medieval parkland of Hatfield Park is one of the few remaining sites in the country where a wood pasture system of land management is still evident. Wood pasture is best defined as a land use system combining trees and grazing animals. The trees in this historic environment have been actively managed over the centuries to provide bark for tanning leather, wood for fuel and building and food stuffs for animals in the form of acorns and foliage. Managing the trees in this way was known as pollarding.
A pollarded tree is hard pruned above the grazing line so that the branch wood timber could be utilised. Livestock could feed on the pasture below without browsing the new regrowth on the tree. This system allows the pollarded tree to continue re-rejuvenating and this extends the life of a tree far beyond its normal life span.
An ancient pollard often provides a habitat for a host of other organisms. They are a tactile tangible link to our past and have been venerated for centuries.
At Hatfield there are some hugely imposing oak, hornbeam and beech pollards to be found. We take great pride in this natural heritage and have a policy of encouraging natural regeneration from these trees and creating new pollards for future generations to appreciate. Some of these ancient trees can be seen by following the longest route of the three nature trails.
This system of management has, over the centuries, created a diverse habit for wildlife.