Beech Estate owned by the Wills family sits to the north of Battle. It is made up of a number of Wealden Farms surrounded by a mixture of commercial, semi natural and ancient woodlands. The 2,000 acre estate was originally formed from two larger historic owners both of whom were beneficiaries of the Norman Conquest.
The management of the estate has changed considerably over the last 20 years. The main income came from the 120 cow dairy herd and followers as well as from timber sales. As these markets declined the Estate has had to diversify in order to survive and moved from intensive agriculture to organic production at the turn of the century. There is now a major focus on our species rich ancient wildflower meadows which are a very limited resource having declined by 97% since the Second World War. This in turn has provided a natural environment across the entire estate that is a haven for bees, insects, small birds, birds of prey and mammals. We are not just happy to maintain what we have but have also pioneered our own grassland enhancement technique to create additional meadows across the estate as well as elsewhere.
The departure of the dairy herd left us with a number of redundant farm buildings. Over the years we have worked with local businesses to create commercial space from these buildings. This has allowed us to maintain these buildings and also provides a life line for local businesses looking for quality affordable space with beautiful surroundings in which to grow their business.