Matt Ridley and the Blagdon Estate
Blagdon Hall, in Northumberland, has been home to Matt Ridley's
family since 1700. The first three generations of owners were all
named Matthew White. The next nine generations of owners have all
been named Matthew White Ridley.
The Estate is a business that includes farms, woodland,
residential and commercial properties; its tenants
provide around 340 full and part-time jobs. The
Milkhope Centre has become a popular destination for visitors
with a number of small privately owned retail businesses,
including the Blagdon Farm Shop, which sells local produce from
Blagdon and the surrounding area.
Blagdon welcomes public access through maintained public and
permitted footpaths. In addition, the Estate acts as host to
charitable organisations which fund-raise through open days.
Typically Blagdon Estate has over 30 events a year with
around 4,500 visitors. The Estate also offers regular
training facilities to the Police, Armed Services, Scouts and
the Guides, as well as hosting fishing clubs, a cricket
club and other organisations.
Surface coal mines have operated on Blagdon Estate almost
continuously since 1943. H.J. Banks Ltd is currently producing
coal from the Shotton and Brenkley sites. Coal from Blagdon is low
sulphur and high quality. The majority of production is used
locally, supporting businesses and jobs. Blagdon estate and
Banks are joint sponsors of Northumberlandia, an iconic land form
park adjacent to Cramlington.
For more information visit the Blagdon
Matt Ridley's statement on Blagdon estate and coal mining: I
have a financial interest in coal mining on my family's land. The
details are commercially confidential, but I have always been
careful to disclose that I have this interest in my writing when it
is relevant; I am proud that the coal mining on my land contributes
to the local and national economy; and that my income from coal is
not subsidized and not a drain on the economy through raising
energy prices. I deliberately do not argue directly for the
interests of the modern coal industry and I consistently champion
the development of gas reserves, which is a far bigger threat to
the coal-mining industry than renewable energy can ever be. So I
consistently argue against my own financial interest.