774 acres of rolling countryside on the southern edge of Exmoor National Park this West Country estate is steeped in history, the estate officially dating back to 1286. Mornacott captivates each visitor with beautifully intertwined pasture, woodland, and the River Yeo gently cuts across the estate, flowing through the valley.
“Integrating agriculture, new broadleaf woodland and eco-tourism into a holistic and regenerative system that promotes a connection to nature, healthy living, and a sustainable future.”
The land is typical of a historical shooting and farming estate with a combination of permeant pasture, and broadleaf woodland. The most recent ecological updates show there is an exciting opportunity to enhance the lands environment and biodiversity and expand the beautiful landscape.
The existing woodland has been restricted to discrete pockets, with a small amount of recent supplementary planting. As custodians of this estate our vision is to restore the landscape, connecting these woodlands into wider habitat networks. By embracing natural regeneration, we can transform the Estate into a strikingly diverse and beautiful landscape.
The River Yeo, bisecting the property holds immense potential as a habitat for magnificent biodiversity. Monitoring sites near the estate have already recorded a variety of invertebrate species, and our focus will extend to observing larger aquatic inhabitants, including the revered Brown/sea trout, Atlantic salmon, European eel, and lamprey.
Restoring the connectivity of ancient woodland, we will allow the existing hedge network to grow out and up, setting aside areas for natural regeneration and re-planting. We aim to create flower-rich meadows that provide habitats for pollinating insects and birds. The River Yeo holds immense potential for restoration works; through strategic reintroduction of key species like the beaver, with their role as ecosystem engineers, we can enhance the river’s health and biodiversity.
The unique ecotourism opportunity at the estate, tailored to guests, offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature sustainably. The farmhouse’s sympathetic renovation will seamlessly integrate the breath-taking 8-bedroom house into our eco-tourism offering, enriching local employment and inviting more people to experience the estate’s beauty.
Improving the condition of the existing areas of woodland and undertaking the restoration of species-rich grasslands, scrub, and woodland habitat has the potential to deliver high-quality biodiversity assets and a truly magnificent landscape. At Mornacott, we hope to offer opportunity for the landscape to recover and expand, and for people to co-exist, connect, explore and be a part of the landscape’s journey.