The Benacre Estate
Comprising of approximately 7,700 acres, the Estate has a wide range of properties and land use including:
• 3 Reservoirs which are 83,000, 125,000 and 263,000 Cubic Meters
• An in hand farm of approximately 2,400 acres
• Approximately 2,500 acres of let farms
• Approximately 750 acres of woodland
• A residential portfolio consisting of nearly 100 properties
• A range of commercial properties
• A National Nature Reserve covering approximately 960 acres, now designated as a Special Area of Conservation
The Estate has been owned by the Gooch family since 1746 and is currently owned by Lady Gooch and their family.
The principle aim is to conserve both the built and natural environment, particularly the latter as the Estate benefits for a large number of conservation designations ranging from an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty through to a National Nature Reserve, one of the largest in Britain. The Reserve has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive.
The Estate directly employs a number of people, many of whom live on the Estate and many previous employees remain in the area. Their collective knowledge and wealth of experience is essential in the running of the Estate.
Managing the Estate is a constant balancing act between, often conflicting, economic, social and environmental pressures. This challenge is typified by Sir Timothy’s wish to help promote education on the Estate – we are striving to create more tangible opportunities.
In a time of great technological change highlighted by the advancement of the internet and during a significant recession in UK agriculture, it is worth remembering that we are only custodians of this land and have an ultimate responsibility to conserve and enhance it for future generations.
With many thanks to Mike Page from www.mike-page.co.uk who has provided some of these stunning photographs.