NGS Open Days at Bere Mill

The gardens at Bere Mill will be open to the public on Sunday 26 March from 13.30-17.00 under the National Garden Scheme.

Entry is £5 for adults and free for children. Dogs are welcome and there is free parking approx. 250m from the house. For visitors with disabilities or mobility issues there is parking by the Fish House (at the end of the lane before the drive to Bere Mill itself).

Tea and Cake will be available and all proceeds from both these and the gate go to Macmillan and the Smile Train.

Private visits: can be arranged on other days throughout the summer and autumn. We ask a minimum group of 15 at a cost of £10/person (for not for profit organisations) and £15 per head for commercially organised groups. Price includes an introduction to the garden by the owner and tea and cakes either before or after the visit. Again, all proceeds go to the nominated NGS charities.

Funds raise: In 2014, we raised £4200 for the NGS. In 2015, this increased to 2015.

Volunteers: There exist a small number of opportunities each year for volunteers interested in honing their skills to help in the gardens. Please e mail




Christmas Orders

We are pleased to say we are now taking orders for Christmas….

Forerib?     Fillet?    a whole Sirloin?

….and for boxing day? A leg of lamb and roast potatoes? or an old fashioned pot roast using Brisket to come down from the indulgence of Christmas Day?

…and what would New Year look like?


Test Valley Garden Literary Festival 11th & 12th June 2016

Test Valley Garden Literary Festival 11th & 12th June 2016

Test Valley Garden and Literary Festival - 11-12 June 2016

Test Valley Garden and Literary Festival – 11-12 June 2016

The festival will offer an exciting opportunity for enthusiastic gardeners, inspirational and informative speakers and poets, experienced plants people and families to come together to enjoy an event which will feature great music, entertainment, workshops and demonstrations, home and garden stalls, farmers’ market food stalls and children’s activities, in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Also featuring an exhibition of art by the President of the Society of Floral Painters, and a presentation and exhibition by an award winning photographer and journalist on Gardens in War Zones.

The garden at Bere Mill will be open under the National Gardens Scheme.

The festival will start with an evening reception and talks on Saturday 11th June 18.00-20.30 (advance tickets only). The main event will be  on Sunday 12th June 10.00-17.30.

The latest information about the Festival is available online at where tickets can also be purchased.

Bere Mill: Developments…

Bere Mill is undergoing a facelift!

The stable block immediately in front of the house is being re-developed to include a purpose built cold room and meat collection point. This will enable us to hang our own beef, lamb and hogget to our own specifications and reduces yet further any external influneces in the farming and meat delivery process that marks Bere Mill produce aside from so much other meat produced.

Through 2017 we are hoping to have beef, lamb and hogget fresh monthly so please recommend us to your friends, continue to come to us for your meat or join our monthly beef subscription boxes which will be available for order  in the next few weeks.


For those of you interested in stock, we currently have 55 pedigree Welsh Mountain Ewes, 65 Suffolk ewes and a small number of scotch cross and Charollais ewes. The welsh Mountain ewes will provide high quality hogget: they grow far too slowly to eat in the first year! The Suffolks, Charollais and Scotch crosses should however provide good quality lamb which will be ready at different times throughout the year.

We have 65 head of pedigree Belted Galloway cattle and 2 Aberdeen Angus Heifers who we will try crossing with Rufus the Belted Galloway bull.

Apples, bank notes and a garden at Bere Mill

Apples, bank notes and a garden at Bere Mill

It is worth reading this beautiful post by Sarah Salway, a writer who visited Bere Mill last year. Here is an extract of her experience and her poem Scrumping:

Bere Mill in Hampshire has a rich history. And I use that adjective on purpose, because it was where the Huguenot family, the Portals, made the paper that was used for Bank of England bank notes in the early eighteenth century. There are still traces of the mill, and also importantly, apple trees. I hadn’t known before that the best wood for mill machinery was that of apple trees because it is both strong and flexible. Isn’t that wonderful?

Sarah Salway

Imagine, my father always said
on our Sunday walks, less
an invitation than an instruction,

and because I was too young then
to know that nature’s ‘what if?’
would always trump ours:

the golden section; ants milking
grasshoppers; the bee queening
it over her own slave kingdom,

I loved his games – gold coins lying
under trees like windfalls, to have
a million pounds and spend it in a day.

I wish he’d lived long enough
to hear how Bank of England
notes were milled with apple wood.

How he would laugh. Imagine,
he’d say, money really does grow
on trees, and forever after, I could try

to catch him out lifting his wallet
to his face, trying to inhale a wealth
he only dreamt of, fortune’s wind

at last blowing its fruit his way,
a scrumper, my dad, to the end.