In the autumn of 2014 the ownership of the Bantham Estate changed from Evans Estates (1956) Ltd. to a new company, Bantham Estates Ltd. This marked the end of nearly 100 years of ownership by Commander Evans and his subsequent family and heralded the new ownership by Nicholas Johnston, who also owns the Great Tew Estate in Oxfordshire. However, the theme of private, compassionate family custodianship of this unique part of South Devon continues and the same management ethos, enjoyed by many over the last 100 years, will remain.
The Bantham Estate consists of extensive areas of land on either side of the River Avon estuary including agricultural land, woodland and Bigbury Golf Course. Within the village of Bantham itself, many of the properties are owned by the Estate including the row of 17th century cottages that run down towards the beach from the Sloop Inn. The Estate is responsible for all of the Ham, car park, sand dunes and, of course, the wonderful beach itself. In addition, the Estate takes full responsibility for all the activities within the estuary including the sporting rights, harbour facilities and the moorings.
The owners and staff at Bantham are fully committed to maintaining the Estate as a place of outstanding natural beauty and with a focus on the conservation and ecology of the beach and agricultural land combined with sensitive restoration and maintenance of the listed residential properties and boathouses. This also includes upkeep of the coastal footpaths, careful protection of the sand dunes and the continuing thinning and replanting of woodland.
Over the decades the beach at Bantham has become synonymous with a wild, natural charm that is enjoyed by families, surfers and walkers alike. As the opportunity for various water sports has increased so too has the need for the Estate to work with the RNLI to ensure the safety of those enjoying the beach is carefully maintained. In recent years, a surf school has now been opened and the renown Gastrobus together with the village shop and award winning pub combine to ensure that everyone visiting the beach can continue to enjoy a special day on this beautiful Estate.