A day in the life of an estate

A lot goes into the daily running of Great Oakley Estates, discover more about the fascinating day-to-day life on the estate

A lot goes into the daily running of Great Oakley Estates, discover more about the fascinating day-to-day life on the estate

When we think about running a large estate, many of us would be forgiven for picturing Downton Abbey, butlers and more. But estates have changed significantly to adapt to the challenges of modern times, with many taking on new and diverse revenues in order to maintain themselves.

Where some estates have turned to tourism through hosting music festivals, country fairs, weddings, or opening up gift shops and visitors centres; others have turned to agriculture, sports, commercial letting and even renewable energy.

Our Estates Manager, Frazer, helps to maintain the estates within the Great Oakley Group. Here he talks about how he became involved with Great Oakley, what makes the estate special and what goes into its day-to-day running:

“I started working with the de Capell Brooke family in 2016 as their Estates Manager and it has been a busy and fulfilling role that continues to challenge and change.

“Where other estates have looked to diversify their revenues through the commercial or entertainment industries – we are focused mostly on agriculture. On our fields we crop winter wheat, oilseed rape and spring barley. We also grow sugar beet which goes into British Sugar and our winter wheat is split between supplier Warburtons for their bread and general feed wheat for multiple different outlets.

“One of the best things about this job is that every day is different. The day-to-day running of an estate is very diverse and we can have a multitude of calls and meetings about so many things in a single day – whether that’s dealing with issues with our properties or meeting with environmental schemes to discuss wildlife or woodland.

“The jubilee wood is a particularly special part of our estates and of this job. For The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee a select number of spaces were chosen to host woodland that celebrated the occasion. Our estate was one of those selected and we are proud to have 60 acres of trees – we maintain the trees and the grassland below them; making sure they are looking beautiful for local residents who walk amongst them.

“The busiest time of the year is really all year round! But perhaps a particularly busy time is between July and November. During this time we harvest our crops, which of course is going to be a significant task and following this we begin autumn drilling – which is when crops are planted into the ground ready for next year, at which point the process begins again!

“I’m really proud to be the Estates Manager for Great Oakley Estates. I get real excitement from helping the estate move forward in a progressive manner and ensuring it is successful and profitable, so that it may maintain its existence for many years to come. I think in these modern times its essential for any agricultural business, but estates in particular, to adapt and we do our best to be prepared for any changes that may come our way.”

Saltby Estate & Dairy Farm

“The estates within the de Capell Brooke family’s tenure are beautiful – particularly the Saltby Estate, which is situated in a wonderful area of Leicestershire with rolling hills and wide open fields. The estate is ring-fenced and is one big land lock which makes it special among other similar estates.

“One of the notable units on this site is the dairy farm. We’re really proud to have dairy farmed on our estates – it’s one of our countries great exports; whether that’s butter, cheese or milk! This particular site comprises 350 acres and around 300 cows are milked here – which as you can imagine is quite an operation! The milk produced is sent to a creamery where it is used to make Stilton cheese.”



The History of the Estate is rich and diverse, crossing centuries and families in its time

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