Waddesdon Estate is an historic estate of approximately 6000 acres and located 5 miles north-west of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The estate was purchased by Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874 and successive generations of the family have enhanced and nurtured the aesthetics and conservational value of the land. Lord Rothschild is an active and engaged proprietor for the modern-day, and as the managing partner of the estate business, Waddesdon Estates LLP, he provides guidance, understanding, connections and influence.
The contemporary ethos of the estate looks to ensure all of its assets, (land, forestry, property and people), are cared for holistically and the past, present and future combine and are presented to the highest standard and level of inspection at all times. Under the leadership of Estate Director, Garth Clark, and through proactive management, the team works to create both commercial and community value and establish a respect and appreciation for the estate’s natural and historical capital, thereby ensuring its assets are safeguarded, yet also developed, for conservation, regeneration and sustainability.
The team works to create both commercial and community value and establish a respect and appreciation for the estate’s natural and historical capital.
The estate team is embracing the challenge to reinvigorate a farming system that builds and maintains a balanced ecosystem through a harmonised framework of arable (crops) and pastoral (livestock) farming. Nutrients and energy are recycled back into the land and by having a diverse cropping approach, the team continually develop supportive and reciprocal relationships with local businesses and beyond. Some of the local producers the Estate works with include Wessex Mill based in Wantage, Chiltern Brewery based in Terrick, close to Aylesbury and Chiltern Cold Pressed based in Wilstone, near Tring. The Estate’s partnership project with the River Thame Conservation Trust, Freshwater Habitats Trust and Environment Agency to restore a floodplain and wetland area on the estate also reflects its regenerative land management endeavours.
The Rothschild Foundation’s support for climate change solutions through improved land management and food systems connects with the estate’s agroecology ambition. As early proponents of the principles of regenerative agriculture, the Foundation and the Estate work with the Global Farm Metric Coalition and the Sustainable Food Trust to measure the environmental and social impact of our farming systems in order to improve outcomes for climate, nature and health and influence the thinking and policies of the UK Government and the National Food Strategy.
PhotographyⒸ Michelle Mansfield