At the end of June, the Englefield Estate was very proud to host 25 representatives from Britain’s leading estates for their annual summer conference.
The Estates Business Group is a collective of Chief Executives from both urban and rural estates including Chatsworth, Cadogan, Holkham and Clinton Devon. All members are committed, as we are, to a long-term, responsible view of managing land and property for the benefit of society, the environment and the economy.
The Group began their visit with a dinner hosted by Richard and Zoe Benyon at Englefield House. The following day they were given a whistle-stop tour of the Estate from our Estates Director, Edward Crookes, as well as talks from James Holbrook Bull, Estate Surveyor, Duncan Rands, Building Manager and Richard Edwards, Forestry Manager.
During the tour, the Group also learned about our Home Farms operation from George Chichester and our Game Department from David Wiggins and, in particular, our efforts to ensure that farming and conservation work hand in hand.
Pam Goddard talked about the very successful Five a Day Market Garden project in Englefield village which enables people of all ages to work in teams to plant, grow and harvest vegetables, fruit and flowers – not only resulting in wonderful produce but also in a whole range of therapeutic benefits.
At Englefield House, Head Gardener Susan Broughton spoke about her team’s work on the nine acres of gardens which are undergoing a gradual and sensitive programme of restoration.
Fiona Craig and Sara Price also provided a fascinating insight into their work with schools and community groups at the Ufton Court Educational Trust; an innovative charity which aims to change children’s lives through challenging and inspirational learning outside the classroom.
The Group also visited Sportfish, one of the biggest names in sport fishing, who are based at Haywards Farm Fishery near Reading. Since taking over last year, Sportfish has made a significant investment in the onsite shop and fishing lodge, as well as upgrading the lake, stocking it with rainbow and brown trout for catch-and-release.
It was a pleasure for us to have the opportunity to share an insight into our work on the Estate and to show how our community works so well together to bring wider benefits to society, the environment and to the local and regional economy.