The Cowdray Estate hosts corporate entertainment, hospitality events and multi leisure activities events on our 16,500 acre Estate, a large proportion of which is forestry and agricultural land.
The Cowdray Estate is near Midhurst, West Sussex close to the borders of Surrey and Hampshire, just one hour from London. The Cowdray Estate offers leisure activities such as fishing and wildlife experiences – including badger watching.
The Cowdray Estate also offers filming locations, venues for your events, wedding reception venues – please contact the Leisure Office at Cowdray Park Golf Club for more information.
The Cowdray Park Polo Club is now one of the largest in Britain with over 700 non-playing members. The main event of the year is the Gold Cup, which is held in July and has become gradually bigger and better each year.
SUSSEX LIFE MAGAZINE
Lady Cowdray is pleased to be writing a column for the county magazine Sussex Life. See below for the current article and click links to previous editions.
Midsummer is a fantastic time for walking and watching everything growing before your eyes, especially the crops on our farms. Maize is a crop which grows very well in the warmer climate of the south of England and in particular performs very well on the sandy ground at Cowdray Park. Across all of the farms around 175 hectares (435 acres) has been planted. It is a high energy forage crop which is made into silage and fed throughout winter alongside grass silage to our cows.
The cows are all out feeding primarily on grass. They are grazed using a paddock system. The optimum regeneration of a grass plant is three weeks; this is the time it takes to grow three leaves. Each of the Cowdray dairies is split up into 42 paddocks. The cows go into a fresh paddock after each milking so we use two paddocks each day; the cows do not therefore return to the same paddock for three weeks.
During the winter when the cows are housed, all of their feed requirements come from either conserved forage or concentrates. At this time of year it is a pleasant break for everyone not to have to feed the cows twice a day. It also eases the cost of feeding as well. They have all been ‘dried off’ and are being given a well-earned rest for approximately two months. The bulk of the cows will calf during August, September and October.
The Forestry Department has continued to be busy clearing up the damage from the winter gales and floods when many trees came down. Indeed they will be busy with this task for several months to come alongside their regular work. About 9,000 tonnes of timber have been harvested which have been sold into a very healthy market – including some which is going for export in a welcome reversal of a long-term trend.
The Estate is home to some of England’s most magnificent native trees hundreds of years old but there is a thriving business built around the varied mix of trees on the Estate including Larch, Norway Spruce, Douglas Fir, Scots Pine and Corsican Pine. Each one has a purpose – from long timbers used in building construction to quality wood for floorboards. Even the lesser quality remnants find a variety of uses such as making pallets, pulp or reconstitution into MDF. And of course there is a huge market for fence posts and fencing. Every year there is a carefully thought-out plan for the re-planting of new trees. This year about 6,000 oak trees will be planted at Cowdray.
Despite the storms, nature heals its wounds quite quickly and where fallen timber has been cut and cleared many such areas are now a mass of foxgloves and other wild flowers, adding to everyone’s enjoyment of a country walk on one of the many footpaths which criss-cross the Cowdray Estate.