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Gaddesden Estate News July/August 2018

Tough Mudder
As many will know, Tough Mudder Ltd will be holding their inaugural London North Event on the estate on the weekend of 7th and 8th July.

Those who have been following the planning application process will know that Tough Mudder’s original application was withdrawn and their subsequent application is still under review.  For this year, the event and course have been revised such that planning permission is no longer necessary.  

We expect it to be a busy weekend in and around the parish but are confident that measures are in place to minimise any disruption to local residents.  All public footpaths and bridleways will be open as always, and we are sure there will be some interesting things to see for those who happen to be passing!

There is more information contained in the separate notice in this magazine, together with contact details ([email protected]) to answer any queries that may arise. 
All the crops are looking reasonable at present, though we shall soon need some rain. The wheat is just finishing flowering and the late sown spring oats are looking remarkably happy. The stems of the oilseed rape are rather short, probably stunted by a combination of the infamous “Beast from the East” and very heavy pigeon pressure. We continue to battle with various grass weeds, in particular black-grass, which is very difficult to control. Walkers on the footpaths may have noticed that, as in former years, we have sprayed off patches of wheat to kill bad patches of black-grass infestation. We calculate that the loss of crop is of less moment than the risk of the weed spreading.

In a few weeks we will be hosting the annual farm walk organised by the Redbourn and District Agricultural Competitions Association, the same group who run the annual Ploughing Match in September and the Hay, Root and Corn show. This involves a tractor and trailer ride around the farm and ends with a barbecue or hog-roast.

The farm walk always precedes harvest which is the next big thing on the farmers’ horizon. By the time I sit down to write the next news from the estate, the rape will have been combined and sold, hopefully all the wheat will have been cut too and maybe the oats as well. If we decide to grow rape again, this will hopefully have been drilled by the third week in August. 
Residential Properties and Commercial Units
Annual maintenance and minor improvements continue as usual on the houses and cottages. Mill Hill Farm Cottage has been completely refurbished and the traditional farm buildings stabilised.  All dwellings are now occupied, with one exception prior to another extensive refurbishment.

The office units are now either fully let or with leases in the process of completion. We are pleased to welcome to the Home Farm and Whitehouse Farm Business Centres: 168 Security, Quorn Stone, B 360 Ltd and Building Services Management Ltd.

Gaddesden Estate Ride and “Park and Ride” Events.
Membership of the Ride renews in June and applications come into the Farm Office on several days a week. We did not have a “Park and Ride” in June, due to other estate commitments, and the next two will be held on Sundays 29th July and 26th August. The Charity Ride takes place on the last Sunday of September, 30th, to conclude the season. As usual applications are made through the Equo Website

Derek Christopher
It is with great sadness that we record the passing of Derek Christopher in his eighty ninth year. He had been involved with the estate for nearly fifty years in many roles, but principally as Manager of the Upperwood Farm Stud, the concept of which he initiated and then developed laying the foundation to the thriving business it is today. He managed all the horse enterprises on the estate, as well as being involved with estate management and farming matters. His memorial service at Great Gaddesden Church was packed as was the Party, as he called it, afterwards at the Bridgewater Arms. We all miss him.