“We, as a team, are responsible for the upkeep of properties, public areas and supporting events across the Estate but specifically I focus on the holiday lets and more recently, helping with event delivery. The work is diverse but always rewarding as it allows me to support the different business entities in a hands-on and practical way.”
Nick Savage, Parks and Gardens Lead
What does your role as Parks and Gardens Lead involve?
Dedication and hard work first and foremost. We, as a team, are responsible for the upkeep of properties, public areas and supporting events across the Estate but specifically I focus on the holiday lets and more recently, helping with event delivery. The work is diverse but always rewarding as it allows me to support the different business entities in a hands-on and practical way.
How many venues and areas of the Cowdray Estate do you oversee?
The simple answer is many! As a department, we are fortunate enough to work with all the other enterprises on the Estate which allows us to gain valuable knowledge as to their workings and subsequently to think how we – as a group – can assist further. Our department works at Cowdray House and The Walled Garden and with polo as the busy summer season approaches to name a few areas across the Estate.
My focus is the gardens of the holidays lets – Challens Yarde, Woods Garden, Apsley, Costers Lodge – as well as properties which are between rentals. We ensure that the grounds are up to the high standard you would expect at Cowdray.
Do you have a particular area that you love working on?
I’m very fond of Woods Garden, its location is incredible, so it is always a joy when we go up there. Challens Yarde and Costers Lodge have both recently been refurbished to a high standard so it’s imperative that we maintain the respective grounds accordingly. Given my background, I am an Events person primarily meaning that, this year, the Staff Presentation, Midhurst Town Cup and Gold Cup were a particular joy to be a part of from an operational perspective.
Thankfully we, as an Estate, continue to find new ways of involving the wider community in this regard so embracing that is very satisfying. The Events Team also do an incredible job in attracting corporate and wedding events so we are only too happy to assist in that where we can. The move to sustainability on the Estate is an essential part of our future so I am pleased that our department is embracing the use of electric vehicles and battery powered equipment.
Can you tell us about your career prior to working at Cowdray?
I studied Real Estate Valuation at Southampton University before working in the profession for a few years in London. In 2003, I made the decision to go travelling for a year. Upon reaching Australia, an intended six month stay turned into four years working in exhibitions and events where I travelled through the region leading many large-scale business orientated exhibitions. It is an industry that I am particularly fond of – no two events are ever the same! It subsequently took me on to working in Shanghai and Hong Kong before going on to opening an office in the Middle East where I remained until 2019.
How did you hear about Cowdray? Do you live locally or have local connections?
I moved to Midhurst in 2021 shortly before commencing work at Cowdray. Knowing the estate previously, I was fortunate to find a position which has allowed me to work in a very rewarding environment. I am very much a family orientated person so, on returning to the UK, it was very important to be close to my sister and her family as well as my parents who are in Haslemere and Midhurst respectively.
And how long have you worked on the Estate?
Since June 2021.
Do you have a team working for you, and do you all have allocated tasks?
First and foremost, we work best when we’re all involved in the day-to-day workings of the Estate. For the most part, I’m fortunate to work with people who ‘get stuck in’ and I will always champion that given that it’s very much my ethos.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Staff involvement, problem solving and delivery. A key part of this is encouraging members of the team to share their ideas.
And what is the greatest challenge?
We have to remain ‘fluid’, meaning that sometimes we’re required to commence new tasks with little notice.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I recently joined the Midhurst Milers (a running group here in Midhurst) who are a fabulous group of people! For anyone wishing to take up running, I cannot recommend the group highly enough! I’m also a huge sports fan with cricket and motorsport being my favourites. I enjoy going to Goodwood Revival.
What can’t you live without?
Family and friends – it really is as simple as that.Back to News