CLA members visit Stuntney Estate and Ben’s Yard

The Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire branch toured a unique farm diversification
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CLA members enjoyed a fascinating day for the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire summer visit and AGM which included a visit to the Stuntney Estate and Ben’s Yard rural retail village.

Alastair Morbey’s family have farmed the Stuntney Estate for five generations. Since 1857, the family have worked tirelessly to nurture the land and preserve the quality and diversity of the wildlife. The 2,500-acre farm was once partially underwater.

Like his relatives, who devised the Fens’ innovative drainage system, Alastair has diligently cared for the land you see today. The family had a vision for the estate: to create somewhere unique for people to meet, shop, explore and reconnect with nature. This vision has now become a reality with the opening of Ben’s Yard, an artisan rural retail village with independent shops, café and restaurant.

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CLA Vice President Joe Evans welcomes guests to the AGM
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Guests gather in the restaurant at Ben's Yard

During this visit members heard how the family embraced the challenges of this major farm diversification project, how they approached the complex planning process and ensured their plans remained on track throughout the development phase.

Following the guided walk around the retail village members had an opportunity to explore the marked wildflower trails which traverse through fenland and woodland and skirt the reservoir.

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The view of Ely Cathedral during the guided walk

This visit was courtesy of Cole Ambrose Ltd.

The event was kindly sponsored by Carter Jonas and Howes Percival.