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A treasure of the John Lewis Partnership, of which Waitrose is a part, Leckford Estate was originally purchased by founder John Spedan Lewis in 1928. Although it welcomes thousands of visitors every year, Leckford is primarily a busy working farm, supplying milk, apples, pears, chicken, mushrooms, rapeseed oil, flour, juice, cider and sparkling wine to Waitrose branches across the country.
Managed by Waitrose, the Estate also includes a farm shop, a plant nursery, fishing beats on the river Test, two golf courses and residential facilities for the staff of the John Lewis Partnership. At Leckford, we embody Waitrose’s principles of good food, good environmental practices and high standards of animal welfare. We’re constantly looking into new and even better ways to work, and sharing our knowledge.
The entire Estate is accredited to the LEAF Marque Standard and is in the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, demonstrating our commitment to “the Waitrose Way”. In the video below Andrew Ferguson, Farm Manager at Leckford, talks about how they protect ground water on the estate.
John Spedan Lewis was an enthusiastic naturalist who studied and collected insects at Leckford for many years. When he retired as Chair, the John Lewis Trust for the Advancement of the Natural Sciences was established with the purpose of ‘advancing the cause of education in and of promoting research into and the study and knowledge of the natural sciences’.
Since then, many experts have studied and recorded a wide range of organisms on the Estate. The Trust has biodiversity data spanning some 60 years, covering not just flowers and butterflies, but also spiders, flies, beetles, fungi and mosses. In the video below, Martin Warren, Chief Executive at Butterfly Conservation takes a look at the fantastic results of many years of work on improving biodiversity on the Leckford Estate.