SUSTAINABILITY is at the heart of the ethos of the Whitfield Estate, Hereford - and the iconic voice of the cuckoo in the woodlands was testimony to long term management and the joy of 80 members and friends of Herefordshire Country Landowners Association.

The members were attending the county's annual meeting where hosts, Edward and Tamsin Clive, provided a snapshot of the estates' diverse portfolio. This includes commercial and residential property lets, farm business tenancies, a sporting shoot and a significant commercial development within the village of Wormbridge, all managed by agents, Balfours, whose Hereford office is based on the estate.

Balfours partner, William Shuttleworth, who manages the estate, explains: "Sustainability is as important within the community as it is within the woodlands and to that end the estate has identified potential expansion of the business centre in Wormbridge due to high demand for work space within the community.

Whitfield's woodlands are worked in-hand, with specialist advice from Pryor and Rickett Silviculture. Guests were treated to a trip through the woodland which included the estate's magnificent grove of sequoias - giant redwood, the oldest being more than 150 years old, and are in fine health with the tallest now close to 47m tall.

Commercially the estate not only produces high quality timber sold locally, but also averages 3,400 cubic meters of chip and logs - which in addition to local markets are utilised to heat Whitfield House and buildings as well as to the wider estate.

William Shuttleworth reflects: "The cuckoo was an impromptu health barometer of the 1200 acres of semi natural woodlands, which is also home to an impressive 52 bird species, including 22 out of 23 British woodland species. It is a sustainable success which the Whitfield Estate hopes to emulate through the opportunity to work locally."