24 May 2019

CLA East put together an eclectic mix of locations for its AGMs and summer visits this year. In addition to a number of traditional estate visits, members took a trip to a watersports park, a nature park and a former US Air Force base.

The AGM season kicked off with the Nottinghamshire branch heading to North Lodge Farm near Widmerpool where they were joined by representatives from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and Oakbank Ltd. The visit explored how the Butterfield family have successfully diversified the estate to include not only an arable farm but also a family shoot, livery and riding school, beekeeping, alpacas, fairs and concerts in support of local charities.

The season continued with a trip for the CLA Suffolk branch to Bentwaters Parks where the Kemball family have developed a former USAF base, and its eclectic variety of military buildings, to house a wide variety of local businesses, museums and TV and film production facilities.

Above: The impressive tractor collection at Bentwaters Parks.

The Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire branch headed to Box End Park near Bedford to see how the Barbour family have turned 100 acres of farmland into one of the country’s best waterski and wakeboarding sites which hosts national Triathlon and Quadrathlon championships.

The CLA Essex branch went to Hedingham Castle, where the AGM was held in the Keep, which contains some of the best preserved Norman interiors and architecture in England.

Above: CLA Essex members meeting at Hedingham Castle.

The Northamptonshire CLA branch travelled to Castle Ashby near Northampton, which has been owned by the Compton family since 1512. Guests were given a behind the scenes tour from Lord Northampton and Lord Compton to see how older parts of the estate are being restored and new technology is being introduced to ensure the estate is sustainable for the future.

Above: The speactular Castle Ashby, the venue for the Northamptonshire branch AGM.

In Lincolnshire, members headed to the Scrivelsby Estate, home of the Dymoke family. They were given a tour of the estate and parkland by the Dymoke family followed by lunch in a tipi in the beautiful walled garden.

Above: Scrivelsby Estate and the tipi that hosted the Lincolnshire AGM.

CLA Hertfordshire and Middlesex members visited the Kings Walden Estate, a private estate near Hitchin. The AGM was held in the family home of Kings Walden Bury and members were given a private tour of the estate by the owner to see how the farm has been modernised with cutting edge technology to transform the farming system.

Above: The grain store at Kings Walden Estate.

The AGM season concluded in June with a trip to Pensthorpe Natural Park for CLA Norfolk members. Pensthorpe Natural Park is an award-winning site near Fakenham which includes 700 acres of woodland, lakes and four gardens, and has hosted BBCs Springwatch series for three years.

Above: CLA members visiting Pensthope Natural Park.

The CLA would like to thank all the venues and sponsors for their contributions that helped make all the events so successful.