18th October 2000
Mrs A Rose
Winsham Parish Council
Som TA20 4JB
Sorry not to have met your deadline - I hope it is not too late.
Management of Cricket St Thomas land
which falls into Winsham Parish
Cricket Estate, although enveloping various different activities, has until recently been run
as a whole. The sale off in 1998 of Cricket House and the Wildlife Park to Rank has made little difference to the farming operation.
The Wildlife Park continues to operate, but at lower visitor levels with more concentration o animals and is now less of a "Theme Park". The wildlife paddocks across the lakes continue to be used in the same way but the building of the hotel in the Walled Garden has meant that Puthill Wood now has more concentration of wildlife activity, with free-roaming lemurs. Enclosures have also been built for Leopards and Otters.
The dairy herd at Puthill Farm was sold in 1997 and since then the grassland around the farm has been used for summer grazing of beef cattle. These cattle have been housed and fed during the winter months in the cubicles and Atcost barns.
Blackmoor, Cooks Hill and Columns fields have been sheep-fenced and a two-year Farm Business Tenancy granted to a shepherd living at Keepers Cottage, Puthill. The remaining fields are used for conservation for the beef cattle and dairy herd.
The woodlands continue to be managed and some areas are due to be thinned. They also accommodate large numbers of pheasants and there is a very active pheasant shoot. Much of the Estate is let to a shooting tenant, who also owns Lue Farm and Midnell Farm. The shooting tenant lets some 200 acres and the farm buildings at Lue to Cricket St Thomas Estate. The farm buildings house the Estate tractors and machinery and the lower and steeper fields are used for the grazing of sheep. The remaining fields are used for conservation for winter feed for the dairy herd. There are a number of "cover crops" strategically placed for the shoot.
I hope this is sufficient for your information.
A STEPHEN R TAYLOR
Partners: W J D TAYLOR, A S R TAYLOR
Cattle at Puthill Farm