Spring 2024 on the Estate

Land Management

I really can’t believe we are heading towards the end of March already.

I was hoping to start this for once without talking about the weather, but it’s been six months of what seems like continuous rain and we have seen record rainfall in Dorset for three of those months!

Having lived or worked here on the estate for 48 years I thought I had seen most extremes but I have never seen the land as wet as it’s been through this winter. Let’s hope that spring is soon around the corner and we can transform muddy, trodden horse paddocks back into lush green paddocks.

Even during these wettest of times work carries on and we have been busy with winter maintenance across the estate and in the workshop getting machinery ready for the summer months.

As many of you will hopefully have noticed we have been busy putting up new signs along the roads across the estate. I believe these signs are more in keeping with the estate and will hopefully still deliver the message. Please spare a thought for the horses and riders whilst driving around and if you come across one please reverse to a suitable passing place and wait.

Simon Williams our fencing contractor has been back installing new paddocks to service the stables at Chapel Marsh Farm as well as putting up a new post and rail fence along the entrance to the indoor arena.

Due to a change in policy at North Buckham Farm the decision was made to disperse with the sheep flock and this decision sees Marcus leaving us at the end of March. Marcus had taken a dis-jointed, below average flock of sheep and transformed them into a successful commercial flock producing high quality, farm assured lamb that has been enjoyed by many at Winyards Gap as well as wedding guests and clients at the wellness retreats.

This doesn’t just happen, this comes from hours of hard work, knowledge and experience. Marcus has been one of the hardest working individuals on the estate and I know he will be a huge asset to any future employer.

I would like to wish Marcus, his wife Lucy and new born baby daughter “Ella-May” every success, health and happiness for the future.

Hopefully by the time of our next newsletter we will be basking in warm sunshine (fingers crossed).

James Vickery, Land Manager

Estate Management

The new stable block at Chapel Marsh Farm

Well, where has the time gone since the last newsletter….

The good news is that Garry and Dean along with their band of merry men managed to get the roof on the farmhouse before the bad weather set in. This did not come without its difficulties as they had to replace all the roof trusses as they went along. This meant stripping the old shingles off, cutting in new timbers then felt and battening it before fixing on the new shingles which in turn elongated the whole job. Eventually they finished fixing the new shingles of which there were 18,000 replaced.

We have now moved to the works on the inside where there has been an additional staircase installed to the new loft room with an additional en suite. All the walls and ceilings on the top two floors have been re-plastered using the traditional techniques of wattled and daub and reed plastering.

Now that the scaffolding has been taken down, we can start on the rebuilding of the lean–to kitchen and the old cheese room before starting on the rest of the ground floor. I am really hoping for some warmer weather to arrive so that all the lime plastering can dry out in time for painting before the end of May, so bring on the sun!!

In between all the work at the farmhouse we are also in the middle of renovating The Barn at The Grange starting with insulating the roof and putting a completely new ceiling up which has made it a lot warmer inside. The next phase will commence mid April when all of the walls will be insulated and lined with decorative panelling along with new electrics and a new audio system.

Simon Williams has finished the fencing around Kate’s tennis court of which he has done a great job and the guys have just got to finish the summer house. Once the court surface is on in April anyone for tennis…..?

The new stable block at Chapel Marsh Farm is having its final tidy up with a new concrete walkway along the front of the stables and a big tidy up of the area surrounding the chalk barn. Our first tenants Felix and Valentine have started moving into these stables along with the stable block that Ellie had been using.

It really is fantastic to see another yard at Chedington Equestrian being developed which can only cement our foothold as being one of the best equestrian yards in the country. Thanks to all involved in making the Chedington brand what it is today.

On the composting front, Harry has been flat out over the last few months and at times he has not known which way to turn with doing all the admin as well as the compost mixing. Hopefully now that he has passed his HGV (well done Harry) and with the help from myself, Troy and Martin he can start to ease up and not be chasing his tail.

We have now started to produce our own shavings for all three yards with the production being down in Chedington woods. I am pleased to say that the horses really like the natural smell and feel of our new shavings. We hope to reduce the number of bales we buy in to only being used whilst away at events.

If anyone would like a change from their normal day and fancy giving a hand helping make some shavings, then just let me know and I can arrange a couple of hours for you.
Geoffrey had his introduction to it a little while ago and I think he enjoyed it.

Colin Maddock, Estate Manager

Renovation works have started in earnest at The Barn at The Grange

Chedington Equestrian

Chris and Jacksonville Eurohill

Lower Chapel Marsh Farm, Beaminster

After another long, cold, soggy winter we are pleased to have seen the first day of Spring. January is always a good month to have behind you as the horses have bucked, reared and spun all their holiday cobwebs away.

Across the various riders based at the yard, 28 horses went on the trip down to Vejer De La Frontera in Spain for 3 weeks of jumping on the Sunshine Tour. This is a great show to get the horses back into competition mode and ready for the season ahead.

2024 is set to be an exciting year for the yard with the Paris Olympics in July and August and many of our riders eyeing up spots on their countries teams. You may also have heard the rumour that Chris, whilst also still hoping to represent Australia for showjumping has secured an event horse to make a bid for the eventing team as well.

We welcome Val and Felix who have come over from Belgium and Germany to base with us and compete on the British Eventing circuit for the season. It is great to see the yard so full with so many talented and dedicated riders. We wish Tim, Jonelle, Cosby, Emma, Val, Felix, Chris and everyone a happy and successful season.

Bek Burton

Events at The Grange

Danielle and Melanie from Bellissimo Weddings

We are thrilled to have come on board with Chedington at the end of 2023 to manage weddings at this beautiful Estate.

Engagement season has been very busy. We have been working with lots of lovely couples who are considering their wedding at Chedington in the future and looking after couples whose weddings are coming up this season. Saturdays will often see us meeting with couples and showing them around The Grange and The Barn and getting to know their wedding day wishes and how we can make everything happen for them.

We are experienced Wedding Planners and Venue Managers based in Poole, Dorset and have been established for 16 years. Having extensive experience in managing venues we take care of everything from the initial enquiry from the couple right through until the wedding day itself. We are delighted to be working with the Chedington Estate and look forward to this upcoming wedding season!

Melanie Egan, Bellissimo Weddings


The Old Brewery Cafe & Kitchen, Gillingham

With Christmas behind us and a well earned break we all looked forward to a steady start to January, but as always our customers say differently. January was busier than expected, and with a few evening functions ranging from ‘Burn’s Night’ to a 60th birthday party, we had a reasonably good start to the year.

February saw us host our first ever Valentines Night, which went rather well, plenty of couples trying out our lovely creative menu and giving us plenty of positive feedback.

March sees us getting ready for spring, so the Chedington Gardeners have been busy giving the gardens a makeover! With hedges trimmed and pots planted.

A big thank you to the lads and Colin for organising this.

April will see us opening in the evenings on Fridays & Saturdays, with new menus for the day as well as the evening. Here’s hoping that the weather warms up sooner rather than later to allow our guests to start sitting outside and enjoying the peace and tranquility.

As for the conference rooms, they have had much more use this year than before from various companies ranging from First Aid training days to lawyer’s meetings which is a great sign going forward.
We have even got three Christmas Bookings pencilled in for this year !!!

– Steve Angell

Eira Ski Lodge, Baqueira-Beret

What a season it’s been for the Eira Ski Lodge. We hit the ground running in December and it has been non-stop since! The snow conditions were testing during the Christmas period but we were saved by almost 2 metres of snowfall in early January. I had two of the best ski days I’ve ever had in my 8 seasons in Baqueira! James Vickery and his group also brought some snow with them, which will see us right through the season, thank you James!

As we continue to gain prestige in Baqueira, we have welcomed back more familiar faces than ever before, with most repeat guests now booking 1 to 2 seasons in advance!

The team have been working incredibly hard with the newer members now running up to speed nicely. The reviews speak for themselves!

In January, I had my visa granted until May 2025. I’d like to thank everyone that helped me with the process

Henry Nayler-Ternent, Hotel Manager

Salon on the Square

The arrival of the new year brought with it a much-needed opportunity for reflection and rejuvenation following the whirlwind of the festive season. As January unfolded, we eagerly seized the chance to gather as a team at the lively Chedington Barn Dance.

We dedicated a day to honing our craft through an immersive Aveda training session. This invaluable experience not only refined our techniques but also expanded our knowledge of the latest trends and innovations in the industry.

Emphasising our steadfast commitment to providing exceptional service, we recently hosted another triumphant Clarins VIP event. Our guests were treated to personalised consultations, demonstrations, and exclusive insights into Clarins products and applications. It was a great event that underscored our reputation as the premier destination for expert beauty care.

As we eagerly anticipate summer, we are brimming with excitement for the opportunities it holds and look forward to embarking on this journey of growth, creativity, and transformation, dedicated to ensuring each guest feels exquisitely beautiful both inside and out.

– Janemarie

A note from Geoffrey & Kate

Although the rain persists a there is a strong sense that the clouds are well and truly lifting. To paraphrase the Bard our winter(s) of discontent are now made glorious summer; well spring at least!

There is a definite feeling of rejuvenation and revitalisation around the whole estate. The air is full with expectation as to the possibility of Chedington fielding, from its resident Antipodean riders, up to three competitors for the Paris Olympics. It’s very pleasing to recall that over seven years ago when planning the initial purchase of the first farm on the Estate with the indoor arena we used the project name “Olympic”.

Continuing the equestrian theme we look forward to supporting again this year Chard Equestrian. Following Chard’s very successful International 2* last year the Chedington name will, once again, be very prominent at the showjumping in April and the International 3* in June.

Our efforts to capture and bury carbon have moved on a pace with our in house shavings production up and running using timber from the neighbouring Chedington Wood. We have also sited our next stage prototype for producing biochar from soiled stable shavings in the wood. This next iteration of the rotating retort increases the load from the initial device to about one ton and will be commercialised as the Chedington Retort! Following a couple of trial runs we received a visit from biochar specialists working on the Blenheim Estate. Our development engineers tell us that they have numerous interested parties keeping an eye on how our retort performs.

Our newly upgraded Barn at the Grange will amongst wellness retreats and wedding host, also, Kate’s clothes sale in aid of Weldmar Hospicecare on Thursday 2nd May.

Eira has had its best year yet with snow lasting right up to the end of the season. Henry and his team are still the number one rated hotel in the resort and we were delighted to spend time before Christmas and over Easter there with our friends.

At the Court we have found a solution to Frodo’s temptation to wander beyond the main gates by cordoning off the principal gardens with a new fence.

– Kate and Geoffrey Guy

Frodo trying to work out a new escape route!
The Chedington Retort in action!


Treatment rooms at the ready in Vielha at The Grange
The Old Brewery Cafe in Gillingham will be opening on Friday and Saturday evenings as a Bar and Bistro Cafe from Friday 12th April 5.00pm-10.30pm.