A well-established commercial shoot in an attractive and accessible location including extensive areas of mature mixed broadleaf woodland
The Orchardleigh Shoot was formerly part of the Orchardleigh Estate which is located about 2 miles north of Frome.
The shoot and the woodlands are set in attractive countryside which undulates throughout providing attractive views through the parkland and woodland towards the nearby villages of Buckland Dinham and Lullington. The property is easily accessible with approximate distances as follows: Bristol (24 miles); M5 J18 (35 miles); Bath (12 miles); M4 J18 (24 miles) and Mere, A303 (15 miles). There is a mainline railway connection available at Frome Station.
Orchardleigh Wood comprises part of the former Orchardleigh Estate, owned as a single entity by generations of the Duckworth family who acquired the Estate in 1856 from the Champneys who had been at Orchardleigh from the Norman Conquest. Orchardleigh House was built in 1856 by Sir William Duckworth whose descendants sold the Estate in lots in 1986. The House and much of the parkland including the Island Chapel are privately owned and run as a residence, wedding venue and golf club. The Island Chapel provided inspiration for renowned Poet Laureate Sir Francis Newbolt. The Grade II listed lodge house known as Woodlodge' included in the sale was originally built as a music room with the round room as the centre piece. When built, Woodlodge sat at the end of an avenue of trees with views down to the original Manor House that was demolished in the mid 19th Century. Orchardleigh Wood and part of the parkland was bought in 1991 by the late Charles Fuller and under his stewardship the Shoot was run as a commercial enterprise until the 2020/21 season before it was suspended as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
Orchardleigh Wood is chiefly a mixed broadleaf woodland with an area thought to be first planted in 1860. The most recent tree planting was instigated by Mr Fuller in 1991.
Woodlodge occupies a quiet and secluded position set back from the main entrance drive into the Estate and provides an excellent base which is accessible to the woods, outbuildings and surrounding farmland over which the sporting rights are exercised. The lodge dates to the early 19th Century with the original stone lodge being extended in 2002 and refurbished during 2019.
Woodlodge offers plenty of character features including the circular former music room with stained glass doors opening to the rear garden and attractive bark covered wooden posts to the front elevation. The surrounding garden area amounts to 0.44 acres and offers scope to further extend the lodge subject to necessary permissions. Woodlodge is currently occupied by the self employed gamekeeper under an assured shorthold tenancy. A copy of which can be provided on request.
In the close proximity of Woodlodge is a stone bothy with adjoining stone storage barn and kennels area. The outbuildings have historically been used by the beaters on the shoot. In addition there is a grain silo and dilapidated storage building.
The shoot operates over a total of 711 acres in addition to the 268 acres of woodland and parkland included in the sale. The shoot last operated during the 2019/20 season but was not able to function in 2020/21 due to Covid-19 restrictions. The shoot employs the current gamekeeper on a self employed basis and they would be willing to continue with any new owner subject to terms of employment being agreed.
In the past chicks have been reared on site, but in recent seasons poults have been ordered in and reared by the gamekeeper in three release pens.
Typically, the shoot has operated on a Saturday, fortnightly throughout the season with many repeat bookings of guns from past seasons or via the Guns on Pegs account. Prior to the Covid-19 restrictions of Spring 2020, the current owners had planned to run the shoot on a weekly basis for a better return on the business. Given the current owners wishes to dispose of the property no poults have been ordered for the forthcoming season and the Guns on Pegs account has been placed temporarily on hold.
The shoot boasts 14 well established drives which can be shot in reverse subject to timing, weather and location of birds on the shoot day. The principal drives are indicated in further details within the brochure and on the sale plan.
Further details of past shoot returns can be made available on request.