The Lulworth Estate is a property based business, although we have diversified into a number of other commercial activities to improve our efficiency and profitability.
Lulworth is almost unique in its variety of land, which includes downland, much of which is farmed traditionally, heathland, water meadows, a stretch of the river Frome and 5 miles of the Dorset coastline. Our management has allowed us to protect much of this area to ensure it remains open and relatively unspoilt with coastal development being virtually non-existent.
The agricultural estate extends to 9,000 acres of farmed land, including 2,500 acres managed “in-hand” primarily for its environmental benefit. The remainder is let to 8 different farming families, a number of whom co-operate in the running of their businesses and includes a small holding. Some of these families are now in their 4th generation at Lulworth.
There are 170 residential properties, principally occupied by those who work on the Estate, thereby ensuring that those working in the countryside can also live here, reducing the impact of daily commuting and the growing difficulties of rural house values exceeding the means of those who need them most.
The 800 acres of woodland, although small in comparison with some estates, is not untypical of a mostly downland area and is managed commercially with a view to reducing the conifer plantations established since the 1940s and converting them to natural deciduous woodland or reclaiming much-needed heathland.
The commercial properties on the Estate have slowly expanded in recent years, predominantly by the use of historical and existing buildings, now no longer needed for their original use, as farming practices and how we live have evolved and changed.
Lulworth has over 100 listed buildings and where necessary, we always endeavour to seek alternative and appropriate new uses, to ensure their continuing survival, an essential element to managing our built heritage.
Since the Second World War, the Estate has provided nearly 3,000 acres for the establishment of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Winfrith and the Ministry of Defence firing ranges, retaining 1,100 acres which are let to the MoD on an hundred year lease.