Prop­erty

For the happy few who en­joy the lux­ury of he­li­copter travel, a home he­li­pad is a must have. Ru­pert Bates doesn’t have to imag­ine as he takes to the air

The Field - - Contents -

A Re­quest for prop­er­ties on the mar­ket with their own he­li­pads was not pure in­dul­gence. Well, maybe a lit­tle. un­for­tu­nately, es­tate agents did not read be­tween the blades and in­vite me to visit the houses with the mode of trans­port trans­par­ent.

A he­li­copter is cer­tainly one of the finest ways to travel these days. Bob We­ston, chair­man of house­builder We­ston Homes, picked me up in his twin squir­rel whirly­bird last month and I must say a hop from sus­sex to the Cotswolds should be oblig­a­tory for the more zeal­ous mem­bers of the Cam­paign to Pro­tect Ru­ral eng­land. the view from our lofty perch is a vast patch­work quilt of green fields, with the only blots on the land­scape pro­vided by so­lar farms – some so shock­ingly ugly you’d like to shove them where the sun don’t shine. We need to pre­serve acres for nat­u­ral beauty and home­grown food but the south of eng­land buried un­der con­crete? Not from my cock­pit.

Agents at the ex­alted end of the prop­erty mar­ket are used to po­ten­tial buy­ers ask­ing if there is some­where to park their chop­per and lo­cals trad­ing celebrity pur­chaser gos­sip watch the skies with the dili­gence of the most de­voted twitcher.

step­ping out of a he­li­copter in a Cotswolds field causes the drinkers to pour out of the neigh­bour­ing pub, phone cam­eras at the ready. Blank, dis­ap­pointed faces greeted me. At the very least I had hoped for “David Beck­ham has let him­self go a bit”.

Hail a he­li­copter – strutt & Parker take me to the Ald­burgh es­tate in North York­shire. For £6.7 mil­lion you get a farm­house and two cot­tages and, more im­por­tantly, a crack­ing pheas­ant shoot and two-and-ahalf miles of salmon and sea-trout on the ure. After great sport you can flock to the Black sheep Brew­ery in Masham.

sav­ills can then take the con­trols and fly me down to Long­parish in Hamp­shire; just don’t frighten the trout on the test. the Long­parish es­tate, on the mar­ket for more than £15 mil­lion, has more than 2,700 me­tres of fish­ing, a fam­ily shoot, a Grade Ii*listed coun­try house and 177 acres – a mix of wa­ter mead­ows, farm­land and wood­land.

Long­parish House has some French château flour­ishes and was once owned by the Hawker fam­ily; among their num­ber was Colonel Peter Hawker, au­thor of In­struc­tions to Young Sports­men, first pub­lished in 1814 and still re­garded as one of the best in­tro­duc­tions to young peo­ple tak­ing up shoot­ing and fish­ing.

the fi­nal leg is to North Wales, where Carter Jonas is looking for a tenant or in­vestor for Ruabon Moor (7,125 acres), which once held the record for the high­est num­ber of grouse shot per acre in Bri­tain and is cur­rently home to an abun­dance of black grouse, with red grouse num­bers mak­ing a re­vival, too. No sign of a twin squir­rel, how­ever.

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