A Malaysian model is set to become one of Basingstoke and Deane’s largest landowners after purchasing the former seat of the Duke of Wellington, according to the Times.
Mandy Lieu reportedly paid £28 million for Ewhurst Park estate, located just outside Ramsdell, which was owned by the Dukes of Wellington from 1817 until 1943.
The 35-year-old said that she plans to turn the estate into an eco-farm, as well as introducing holiday lets, planting a ‘micro-forest’ and establishing a retreat for families affected by motor neurone disease.
She told The Times: ”’I do not think myself a landowner. Instead I consider myself a steward of this land, working to leave it in a better state than I found it, and very soon I hope to open Ewhurst to invite as many people as possible to come on this journey with me.
“I grew up in southeast Asia and was taught in my earliest years to respect food and the land that it comes from. Now, I am able to put my passion into practice in the UK.”
As part of Lieu’s plans to turn the 925-acre estate into an eco-farm, she hopes to pick the brains of experts in rewilding, where land is restored to its original, pre-human condition by improving its connectivity and restoring ecological processes such as predation.
Regenerative farming is also reportedly on the agenda, which aims to regenerate the topsoil and improve the water cycle of farms to improve their crop production over time.
The estate at Ewhurst was first recorded in The Domesday Book in 1086, when it was held by Walter of Hugh de Port. Over the years, it passed through a number of owners until the Dukes of Wellington purchased it in 1817.
The house was rebuilt in 1872, and the Dukes later sold the house in 1943, being occupied by the Canadian military during World War Two. Following a period lying empty, the house was reduced in size in the 1950s, and was replaced completely with a new building in 2009.
By : James Ashworth – Basingstoke Gazette