Babworth and Hesley Estate – working in operational partnership

The privately owned Babworth and Hesley estate in Nottinghamshire dates back to the 18th century.  Nicholsons has provided forestry and woodland management support to Sir Jack Whitaker and his small in-house forestry team and external contractors on a 535ha (1, 321 acre) estate since 2001.

Since first instructed, we have worked with the in-house team to undertake a wide variety of forestry operations to efficiently deliver on objectives within the financial parameters. This includes securing the services of specialist contractors where necessary to undertake large-scale or more specialist work such as mechanised harvesting.

Sir Jack recognises the commercial importance of good woodland management and how Nicholsons have helped contribute to this at Babworth saying: “ Nicholsons have helped me address some complex problems within a mixed commercial/amenity woodland estate over a large number of parcels, and at the same time unlocked some considerable grant funding. As a result we have raised our game significantly.”

Understanding the many financial challenges faced by estates, Nicholsons specialist advice on grants resulted in the estate securing substantial funding through the Forestry Commission and Regional Development Initiatives for both capital equipment and grants to help finance ongoing management operations, including ride management and uneconomic thinning. We are also actively involved in future planning, including advising on tree species and bespoke timber markets to ensure that the estate is able to maximise the financial opportunities offered by its natural capital assets.


  • Long-term ongoing woodland management relationship established
  • Expertise used to secure vital funding for projects
  • Silvicultural systems implemented to improve timber quality to increase profitability