CLA members enjoyed talks, a tour and supper at Betchworth House for the Surrey summer social and AGM.
During the visit guests were given a charming overview of the Betchworth Estate and an exclusive look at the vision of the last great English landscape designer of the 18th century, Humphry Repton, followed by a casual walking tour of the gardens.
Members heard from current owners Robert and Joosje Hamilton, as well as CLA President Mark Tufnell who updated them on the CLA's recent policy work and lobbying successes.
Many thanks to our partners Moore Barlow and Strutt & Parker for their support.
The Betchworth Estate is a working agricultural estate situated on the banks of the River Mole. The estate has changed hands only twice by purchase since Domesday and is today still in the ownership of descendants of the family who bought it in 1816. The current three generations of the Hamilton family, who live on the estate, are committed to ensuring its preservation and contribution to the continuing development of the Betchworth village community.
The estate consists of 1,100 acres of farmland, about 150 acres of woodland, as well as a number of residential and commercial properties. It has a suckler beef herd, which grazes in the fields for the majority of the year. The estate’s arable production includes wheat, barley, oats, beans and oilseed rape.
Betchworth takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. Its farmland is run under the Higher Level Stewardship scheme, and the woodland encompass more than 100,000 trees varying from over 200-year-old oaks to newer plantations, such as the cricket bat willows by Betchworth Bridge. The woodlands are managed for amenity, shooting and commercial forestry under the guiding principle of sustainability.