Spot the magnificent deer at Parham’s autumn event

Autumn Foraging & Estate Life at Parham SUS-141109-164447001
Autumn Foraging & Estate Life at Parham SUS-141109-164447001

Parham House & Gardens is delighted to announce details of its 8th annual ‘Autumn Foraging & Estate Life’ event on Sunday September 28 between 10.00am and 5pm.

Set in the heart of its own ancient deer park (whose herd of dark fallow was first recorded in 1628) Parham is the perfect location for this themed event looking at the countryside in the autumn.

The household at Parham would once have been self-sufficient from produce grown and reared on the estate, and this event aims to give its visitors a rare glimpse into Estate Life past and present.

With the park designated as a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’, and with the award-winning four-acre Walled Garden, the event features displays, information and demonstrations about local produce, foraging in the countryside and the wide range of activities involved in running Parham Estate.

As this is also the height of the deer ‘rutting’ season, there will be guided walks in the Park to try to spot some of the magnificent stags.

Visitors can also be guided in the art of foraging for wild mushrooms and truffles on walks around the Pleasure Grounds near the house, and learn how to identify these magnificent fungi.

Visitors will be able to taste and buy seasonal and locally produced game & meats, garlic, bread, honey, cheese and local ales, as well as fresh vegetable soup made with ingredients from Parham’s own home-grown produce.

Items of Parham equipment not usually seen by the visitors will be on display, offering an insight into both current and historical activities at Parham. Historical machinery from the Parham farms, stables, and the old Estate Fire Brigade equipment will be on show, as well as domestic and personal items normally hidden away in drawers and cupboards in the House!

There will be a variety of demonstrations and talks, including cookery demonstrations from local chef Ben Goldsmith of Petworth’s The Hungry Guest, who will be cooking a variety of garden and foraged produce. Sarah Beard will be explaining the uses of medicinal herbs.

There will also be a rare opportunity to see the interiors of the Parham Dovecote and the Ice House. Recently restored, these buildings were an integral part of providing food for the household and its guests.

On the animal front, Margaret Noble will be showing her ferrets and ferreting equipment, and visitors can experience the size and power of the heavy horses that would have pulled the carts and wagons on the estate farms.

In the Pleasure Grounds next to the house, The South Downs Gundog Display Team will give demonstrations with working gundogs, simulating a day in the shooting field and retrieving canvas dummies from the lake.

Lastly, Parham’s own gardeners, with the Storrington Allotment Society, will be on hand with fruit and vegetable displays, ready to give advice about growing your own.

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Report and pictures contributed by Zanny Gilchrist.