About the park
Chatsworth park covers 1000 acres and is enclosed by a 15 km long dry stone wall and deer fence. It is home to red and fallow deer, sheep, cattle and many wild animals. The park at Chatsworth is a farmed, food-producing landscape. The grass you walk on is a crop grazed by sheep, cattle and deer; the river provides fish and the woods game and timber.
Without the work of the Chatsworth team it would soon be changed beyond recognition by nature and the wear and tear caused by the footfall of a million visitors each year. Members of the park team maintain the trees, walls, railings, fences, watercourses, roads, tracks, gates, cattle grids, tree guards, and an intricate system of underground drains. They also collect litter, which is dangerous to the animals that live in the park. The 200 acre Old Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is kept private to protect wildlife.
The park holds a key position in the history of English landscape design, in part because its landscape has been influenced by some of the greatest artists and designers of their time including: George London; William Kent; Lancelot Brown; Sir Jeffry Wyatville and Sir Joseph Paxton. Each of these remarkable individuals – encouraged and directed by successive Dukes of Devonshire – have left their mark on the landscape through their architecture, waterworks, tree planting, and the creation of views which link the house, garden and park together.
Chatsworth House sits on a raised terrace on the eastern side of the park overlooking the River Derwent and backed by a steeply rising, well wooded ridge to the east. To the south and east gardens form the immediate setting of the house which gives way to the parkland along the Derwent Valley.