ABOUT OUR ESTATE

We manage and farm over 19,000 acres of North East Wiltshire, West Berkshire and North Hampshire. The home farms are centred on the village of Ramsbury which nestles in the heart of the Kennet Valley.

In 1997 the original Ramsbury Estate was some 3,000 acres and in the succeeding years many old traditional neighbouring estates were acquired, including Littlecote, Hungerford Park, and part of the Aylesbury Estate.

Open country and large rolling fields are the main feature of this area, interspersed with beech woods and thorn hedges. Made up of solid chalk, these rolling hills support a fantastic variety of flora and fauna as they rise to 250 metres above sea level. The tops of the ridges are heavy clay with flints as the dominant feature.

Steep chalk land escarpments traditionally grazed by sheep produce a profusion of high pH loving plants and flowers.

The estate covers open land, and over 2,500 acres of woodland and forestry. Made up of a mix of commercial and amenity woodland, this resource is of huge environmental benefit and contributes in lots of ways to the local economy.
 

Ancient landscapes

Set in the heart of the North Wiltshire Wessex Downs area of outstanding natural beauty the estates are bisected by the river Kennet, a classic chalk stream which rises a few miles west of the historic town of Marlborough and joins the River Thames at Woolhampton.

The commercial forestry is in various blocks from 2-3 acres up to 350 acres. Norway Spruce, Japanese Larch, Corsican Pine and of course Douglas Fir are the main species in demand by the construction industry. These plantations are interspersed with beech plantings which are destined for the firewood market. Historically, the amenity woodland was left in place (rather than grubbed-out for agriculture) as areas where local coppicing for charcoal burners and other woodland crafts were carried out. And they were a haven for wild game, which was many a landowners’ passion during the hunting seasons, in years gone by. As well as farming in hand approximately 7,000 acres, the estate started to diversify into other rural and business ventures. We built our brewery in 2004, the distillery in 2014, a smokehouse in 2014 and an oil press in 2015.

These operations work well together, in that they intertwine within the estate, either by producing complimentary products or providing the raw materials used to create them.

As with all large estates there are many sets of farm buildings and houses. The houses mostly built in the 18, 19 and 20th Century are of a style typical to the area ie brick and flint, which is a constant challenge in terms of maintenance.

With the march of larger machines in agriculture many modern style buildings are now in use with older style ones being used for a whole variety of purposes.
The estates management team are continually looking to be proactive in rural management terms, taking advantage of the opportunities this large, well situated estate can offer.