Press Centre

For any PR enquiries relating to the family, the Holkham Estate and its related businesses, please contact Perowne International, 6 Derby Street, Mayfair, London W1J 7AD telephone: 0207 078 0295 or email
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21st August 2017 - Radio Riddler to support Reggae Legends UB40 at Holkham Hall on Sunday 27 August

LHG Live and Live Promotions are thrilled to announce Reggae band Radio Riddler as support act for UB40 on Sunday 27th August at Holkham Hall in north Norfolk; one of England’s grandest stately homes. This is UB40, featuring original members Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue with their fantastic eight-piece reggae backing band.

Radio Riddler is a six-piece Reggae band formed by Brian Fast Leiser and Frank Benbini from Fun Lovin’ Criminals, lovers of Reggae/Dub music. Having spent many years remixing diverse artists with their own unique Reggae/Dub style, their first EP release Marvin Reggae featured five of Marvin Gaye’s most beloved songs, which they produced with acapella’s of Marvin’s voice. This was followed up with the release of a compilation of their favourite remixes Dubplates Volume 1 and Radio Riddler’s debut full length album Purple Reggae in 2014 to great acclaim – released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Prince’s Purple Rain. Guest vocalists included Suggs, Ali Campbell, Sinead O’Connor and Beverly Knight, amongst many others. Their performance at Holkham Hall will see them bringing their back catalogue and favourite tracks to the stage.

Brian Fast Leiser of Radio Riddler said “We are a Reggae mix outfit and we love Reggae. It’s in our blood and remixing and dubbing are great creative outlets for us…to play around with tracks and come up with something special and unique to our style. We are thrilled to be able to share our music with the audience at Holkham Hall.” His fellow band founder Frank Benbini said “We have worked with Ali Campbell previously and UB40 are true legends so we are looking forward to a cracking night at a great location, and to bringing our Purple Reggae Prince vibe to Norfolk.”

Ali Campbell of UB40 said, “Radio Riddler are great friends of ours and they always do an incredible job of warming up the crowd for us, you’re in for a treat. Holkham Hall is a stunning venue and we cannot wait to see everyone there for the concert. Big love.”

Since reuniting three years ago, Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue have developed into a formidable touring outfit. 2016 saw them return to the States, play Australia and visit the vineyards of New Zealand for a Red Red Winery Tour. They also made an emotional return to UK in April 2016, when they performed songs from the first two Labour Of Love albums on an arena tour that included sell-out shows at London’s O2 Arena, the Brighton Centre and the Barclaycard Arena in their native Birmingham. 2017 has seen them continue to delight fans all over UK as they delivered their GRANDSLAM summer tour, covering 13 venues this summer and bringing their inimitable pop and reggae hits to the stage. Their performance at Holkham Hall in north Norfolk on Sunday 27 August will see them bring their most popular songs to the stage as their summer touring comes to a close.

Colin Ward MD of Live Promotions, Promoter said, “We have worked with Holkham Hall for several years on a number of very successful concerts and are delighted to be bringing one of the world’s greatest bands, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue to Norfolk with LHG Live, in August. This will be a fantastic show and appeals to all ages. We are very excited to now announce Radio Riddler as support act who we are certain will prove very popular.”

The Earl and Countess of Leicester commented, “Our second concert in 2017 welcoming UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue over the August bank holiday returns to the south park, which has always been a popular setting for our audience. The announcement that Radio Riddler will open the evening is a perfect choice.”

Liz Doogan-Hobbs MBE, CEO of LHG Live, promoters for the Grandslam UB40 UK Tour said, “We are thrilled to be working with Holkham again and have no doubt that this UB40 concert – featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue will prove very popular; they are one of the best bands around to see live, and what a beautiful setting to perform in! The beautiful outdoor spaces at Holkham Hall are perfectly placed to offer an incredible backdrop for this summer concert, and the announcement of Radio Riddler completes the line-up. It’s going to be a brilliant Reggae evening, perfect for the summer.”

Artist Links: Radio Riddler
Twitter - @RadioRiddler
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Twitter – @WeAreUB40
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10th August 2017 - North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival at Holkham

The 2017 North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, one of the region’s premier local produce events, will take place in the grounds of Holkham Hall on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September. We are delighted that stallholders, food concessions and sponsors will gather in and around the historic Walled Garden to celebrate local food and drink. Now in its eighth year the committee continues to work closely with the team at Holkham to deliver an outstanding event in a stunning rural setting.

Last year the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival attracted around 10,000 visitors. This year it will welcome 50 stall holders to this two day celebration and aims to attract a similar number of visitors as in 2016.

The range of produce on sale will include real ales, fresh meat and poultry, local seafood, vegetables, local honey, fruit, ice cream, cheese, fresh juices, cakes, puddings and tarts and much more. To exhibit and sell all products must be grown, reared, caught, produced or sold in North Norfolk. Just outside the Walled Garden a food court area will provide everyone attending the event with outstanding local food and drink for consumption on site. Around eight concessions will take part including Arthur Howell offering his famous hog roast, the Fruit Pig Co. with award winning sausages and Morston Mud Inns with seafood. Entry for the general public is free but a car parking charge applies.

The ever popular Cookery Theatre in its trade-mark octagonal tent will see demonstrations from this year’s wonderful line-up of chefs. The Cookery Theatre is organised and hosted by Mary Kemp, famous for promoting Norfolk food and chefs. A full list of who will be participating will be published in August.

For the seventh year running the organisers are delighted to announce Kettle Foods, producer of KETTLE® Chips, as headline sponsor. Ashley Hicks, Kettle Foods MD says “We really enjoy being part of this celebration of local produce and offering support to the attending stall holders via our business mentoring prize. As well as trying and buying some fantastic food and drink products, we encourage visitors to come to the ‘Create & Donate’ area on the Kettle stall and have a go at making their own limited edition potato chips in aid of our local community partner, The Feed.”

The Feed is a social enterprise based in Norwich that supports homeless people and vulnerable adults to find their confidence again and get back into employment. It uses food as a catalyst to inspire and motivate people to achieve and live a more fulfilling life.

In addition to its sponsorship, Kettle Foods is once again offering a business mentoring prize of £1000 to one of the attending stallholders to help them develop their products. In 2016 this prize was won by local cheese, yoghurt and milk producer, Nortons’ Dairy. Winners from previous years include Candi’s Chutney, Essence Foods and Bread Source.

Chris Coubrough of The Flying Kiwi Inns says “Kettle Foods has underpinned the success of our festival and we are delighted to be working in partnership again with this nationally recognised and respected local company”.

A new initiative this year is the Kinnerton Cake Competition running across both days. The public are invited to make a cake and bring it to the Chairman’s tent. The only requirement is that it contains chocolate in it or on it. Entries must be in by 12 noon on both days. Saturday’s entrants must be 14 years or over and Sunday is for under 14’s. Winners receive a fancy mixer!

The North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival is organised by a Festival Committee. Festivals such as this are supported by a county wide organisation: Norfolk Food and Drink Ltd.

Festival gates open at 10am and close at 4pm. Holkham Hall is open on the Sunday from 12 noon until 4pm (last entry). Holkham Park is open both days from 10am to 5pm.

4th August 2017 - The Great White Egret breeds in Holkham National Nature Reserve for the first time

Three young Great White Egrets have fledged marking the county’s first successful breeding attempt. In the 50th year of Holkham being designated a National Nature Reserve, and following the recent announcement of the estate’s Approved Body Status awarded under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act; it is perhaps timely that the occasion is marked by the arrival of a new first for the reserve. Following the formation of a thriving colony of Norfolk’s first breeding Little Egrets in 2002 and the colonisation by Spoonbills in 2010, Holkham National Nature Reserve has announced that another rare bird, the Great White Egret, has joined its long list of breeding bird species.

Spanning the coast from Burnham Norton to Blakeney, the Holkham National Nature Reserve in north Norfolk covers an area of around 3,706 hectares. It is a unique and very special mix of habitats including freshwater grazing marshes, saltmarsh, mature pine woodland, sand dunes and also renowned for its golden sands. The area welcomes migrant birds, including thousands of pink-footed geese during winter and is home to rare flora and fauna providing a rich and diverse natural offering.

The Great White Egret was persecuted across much of Europe during the 1800s to provide a fashionable, international hat trade with ornate feathers. For much of the 20th century it was restricted to the wetlands of Eastern Europe, yet since the 1990s, it started to make a comeback and began nesting in increasing numbers all across Europe. In 2012 it nested in the UK for the first time on the Somerset Levels, where small but increasing numbers have continued to breed.

Since then Norfolk has also recorded more each year, culminating in the county’s first successful breeding attempt this year when three young fledged. The reserve’s mix of freshwater grazing marsh with its extensive network of dykes, pools and scrapes and importantly wet woodland provides an ideal habitat for this large stately fish eating member of the heron family.
For further information on the Holkham National Nature Reserve click here

18th July 2017 - Holkham Country Fair Unveils Grand Ring Timetable

With just a number of weeks to go until north Norfolk’s much loved, biennial weekend event, Holkham Country Fair will be treating its thousands of visitors with a platinum line-up of performances in the Grand Ring.

Alongside the firm favourites of traditional countryside activities and displays on 22nd and 23rd July, Holkham Country Fair has unveiled a number of firsts for the Grand Ring including:

  • Dzhigitovka! – The Way of the Cossack Warrior – The Dzhigits of the Cossack people are legendary warriors, masters of the Shashka sword in knife throwing and pistol shooting with outstanding gymnastic skills all performed on the back of galloping horses.
  • The Red Arrows – The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team will take to the skies to demonstrate the speed, agility and precision of the RAF. As one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams, visitors can enjoy their trademark close formations and precision flying. (Sunday Only. Weather conditions permitting. All activities, especially those in the air, are subject to weather conditions).
  • The Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast – Visitors will have the opportunity to see the iconic World War Two Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota take to the skies on both days of the event. The RAF BBMF aims to maintain the priceless artefacts of our national heritage in airworthy condition to commemorate those who have fallen and to inspire future generations.

Sarah Green, organiser for Holkham Country Fair, comments:
“The Grand Ring is the heart of the Fair and I’m thrilled to be able to showcase a number of new additions to this year’s line-up of attractions. It’s important we encourage new visitors to the event and I am confident this year’s line-up will have a wide ranging appeal. The Red Arrows for example, always attract a big crowd so we’re delighted to have secured a display for the Sunday.”

To mark the opening of the fair, visitors can enjoy a parachute display by Jump4Heores – The Royal British Legion Extreme Human Flight Team before watching a number of countryside favourites including a Gamegoer Gundog Display with Graham Watkins and Allcomers’ Dog Racing with Adrian Francis. Children will also have the opportunity to get involved by joining The Band of the Parachute Regiment for Holkham’s Children’s March Past.

Sarah continues:
“Holkham Country Fair is all about being accessible and enjoyable for everyone so we’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors and families to the event. It’s a great Grand Ring line-up bursting with some serious talent accompanied with lots of other things going on around Holkham Hall. It’s simply not to be missed!”

All of the performances, minus the Red Arrows, will take place on both days of the fair between 10.45am and 6.30pm.

Day, weekend and camping tickets are available to purchase online and day tickets will also be available to buy on the gate. For more information or to book tickets please click here.

3rd July 2017 - The Holkham Estate to manage the Holkham National Nature Reserve after receiving ‘Approved Body Status’ from Natural England

Natural England announced today that one of the UK’s leading rural estates, the privately-owned, Holkham Estate, has been awarded Approved Body Status under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. This will make Holkham one of a select few privately owned estates in England to hold this status and follows a lengthy application process. This special status will enable the estate to manage the Holkham National Nature Reserve, which has until now been managed by Natural England.

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) include some of the best examples of England’s wildlife and geology. There are 224 National Nature Reserves in England covering 94,000 hectares. Natural England manages 143 of the National Nature Reserves on its own, or jointly with others, and the remainder are managed by Approved Bodies. Section 35 1(c) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 empowers Natural England to approve other organisations, known as Approved Bodies, to manage National Nature Reserves. The reserves were established under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, which specified that they were for “preserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of special interest in the area and/or for providing opportunities for the study of, and research into, those features.” The Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006 extended the role of NNRs to include the provision of opportunities for public enjoyment of nature and/or open-air recreation.

The Holkham National Nature Reserve covers an area of the north Norfolk coastline from Blakeney to Burnham Norton and comprises a number of rare and precious habitats including salt marsh, sand dunes, pine woodland, beach and grazing marsh. The present landscape is largely man-made, having been reclaimed from saltmarsh between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, much of it by the Coke family. A small team led by the Conservation Manager is responsible for the daily management of the reserve. Holkham Estate has long been recognised as a leading farming business and the management of the reserve demonstrates how modern farming and high standards of nature conservation can thrive together.

The Earl of Leicester commented, “I am very proud the Holkham Estate has been awarded this special status. We have been running the reserve now for over four years under the watchful eye of Natural England, who have been really helpful and supportive, and of course we managed it for over 300 years before it became an NNR. That custodianship led to it being designated as a nature reserve. I am delighted Natural England have also been impressed by the way our team of three wardens, led by manager Sarah Henderson, have set about their business. Together with staff from the farm (topping and flailing), our game keepers for vermin control and local specialist contractors (ditching, fencing and scrape maintenance by the RSPB), they have been working on improving, protecting and creating a greater variety of habitats. Sarah regularly meets up with colleagues from other conservation bodies along the coast such as the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, National Trust and RSPB. Together they share ideas and successes, and discuss how to mitigate failures and problems (such as protection of little tern nests). We are acutely aware of the popularity of Holkham and Wells beaches and the pressure large visitor numbers can have on the NNR, so the estate’s experience of managing tourism businesses will be of benefit as we develop our Visitor Management strategy. As well as being a tourist destination for birdwatchers and beachgoers it is also important for academic research and school visits. The reserve sits at the heart of the estate and it is right and proper that we manage it with our qualified, locally-based team, of whom I am very proud.”

Natural England’s Area Manager for Norfolk and Suffolk Sarah Dawkins commented “I am so pleased to celebrate not only the 50th anniversary of Holkham National Nature Reserve but another major milestone. It’s a real testimony to the commitment and the vision of the estate that we’ve awarded them approved body status and a huge recognition of Holkham’s achievement as stewards of this special place. The opportunities to see amazing wildlife here are endless; from spoonbills to the antlion to the vast flocks of wintering pink footed geese, it is no surprise Holkham attracts so many people. The estate’s expertise as a visitor attraction will ensure visitors can enjoy the wildlife spectacles and leave with a newfound knowledge. It is great to know that this National Nature Reserve is in such good hands and I very much look forward to working with Lord Leicester and his team in their new guise.”

The Holkham NNR is part of the Holkham Estate but is overseen by an independent advisory board, chaired by Lord Leicester and comprising – Dr Paul Dolman of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia; Richard Carden keen ornithologist and retired civil servant (MAFF/DEFRA); Philip Merricks farmer and owner of Elmley National Nature Reserve in Kent and David Lyles 2016 winner of the Ian MacNicol Memorial Trophy; a top conservation Norfolk farming award. The announcement coincides with the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Holkham National Nature Reserve.

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