The Beckhams lay out plans for their Cotswolds 'wildlife corridor'

The Beckhams lay out plans for their Cotswolds 'wildlife corridor'

07/14/2021

David and Victoria Beckham list ‘native hedgerows’ and ‘pin oak trees’ as part of their proposed ‘wildlife corridor’ to ‘nudge forward’ planning permission at the grounds of their £6m Cotswolds home

  • David, 46, and Victoria, 47, reportedly want to erect an outbuilding to store all the machinery to keep their pad’s lawns manicured, as well as the equipment to tend to fields they have leased from the nearby estate
  • It has been reported that the celebrity pairing are looking to build a ‘wildlife corridor’ to allow birds, bats and bugs to flourish in the gardens of their £6.15million Grade II-listed country mansion
  • This, however, seems to be yet another chapter in their ongoing back-and-forth with West Oxfordshire District Council, who are said to be stalling granting permission
  • In an effort to account for the habitats of these animals, football legend David has submitted updated plans and photos detailing how the couple will look after them 

The saga of David and Victoria Beckham’s Cotswolds re-landscaping efforts continues.

It has previously been reported that the celebrity pairing are looking to build a ‘wildlife corridor’ to allow birds, bats and bugs to flourish in the gardens of their £6.15million Grade II-listed country mansion.

In new plans, ‘native hedgerows’ and ‘pin oak trees’ have been listed among the proposed species of plantlife that will help create this ‘corridor’ to nurture wildlife. 

Country spice: David and Victoria Beckham have listed ‘native hedgerows’ and ‘pin oak trees’ as part of their proposed ‘wildlife corridor’ in hopes to nudge forward planning permission at the grounds of their £6m Cotswolds home (stock image) 

This, however, seems to be yet another chapter in their ongoing back-and-forth with West Oxfordshire District Council, who are said to be stalling granting permission. 

David, 46, and Victoria, 47, reportedly want to erect an outbuilding to store all the machinery to keep their pad’s lawns manicured, as well as the equipment to tend to fields they have leased from the nearby estate.

Wildlife experts have waded into the Beckhams’ plans over the months, which have also included designs for a lake and a ‘barn for bats and birds’.

Due to the plethora of protected species at the site, experts have questioned the disruption that could be caused. 

Paving the way: The celebrity pairing are now said to be looking to build a wildlife corridor to allow birds, bats and bugs to flourish in the gardens of their £6.15million Grade II-listed country mansion

Making plans: ‘Native hedgerows’ and ‘pin oak trees’ have been listed among the proposed species of plant life that will help create this ‘corridor’ to nurture wildlife


Snapped: In an effort to account for the habitats of these animals, football legend David has submitted updated plans and photos detailing how the couple will look after them

The saga continues: This is yet another chapter in their ongoing back-and-forth with West Oxfordshire District Council, who are said to be stalling granting permission

In an effort to account for the habitats of these animals, football legend David has submitted updated plans and photos detailing how the couple will look after them. 

MailOnline has contacted David and Victoria Beckham’s representatives for comment – as well as the West Oxfordshire District Council.

Posh and Becks purchased their countryside abode in December 2016, and an application last month showed a Springwatch-style barn, which will feature ‘new roosting and nesting opportunities’ for flying mammals.

The Beckhams had to submit a detailed ecological report when applying for permission to build the new outbuilding. 

The report states that ‘any new lighting to be introduced should be designed to minimise light spillage and pollution and not directed on to any bird/bat boxes installed’. 

Sprawling: Wildlife experts have waded into the Beckhams’ plans over the months

Ideas: Plans have also included designs for a lake and a ‘barn for bats and birds’

Interference: Due to the plethora of protected species at the site, experts have questioned the distruption that could be caused


Family home: Posh and Becks purchased their countryside abode in December 2016

It also asserts that workers will be advised about local wildlife, and installation will also take place outside the bird nesting season, which means building work cannot start until the end of August.

According to reports from The Sun, the former professional footballer and fashion mogul have ensured their barn is ecological in order for it to be approved by the local council. 

A source speaking to the publication said: ‘David and Victoria are used to their plans causing a stir with the council but they’ve taken so much care in all the details for their plans that they are confident it will pass. 

‘They’ve woven ecology into the design of the building and it will have room for nesting birds, as well as bat boxes.  

‘It’s just annoying they have to wait for decisions like this as it slows everything down, but that comes with the territory.’ 

Eco-friendly: The couple have had to account for the habitats of local roosting bats

Details: ‘New lighting to be introduced should be designed to minimise light spillage and pollution and not directed on to any bird/bat boxes installed’ states the report (stock image of a bat box)

Plans: According to reports, the sports star and fashion mogul have ensured their barn is ecological in order for it to be approved by the local council (house pictured in 2017)

In May, the couple revealed their plans for the barn, when they submitted the plans to West Oxfordshire District Council.

Plans show the couple want a large ‘machinery’ shed at their £6 million bolthole on the Great Tew Estate will help with their hobbies of gardening and farming.

But they also need space for the large array of tools to help them tend to their sprawling lawns, tennis courts, treehouse and even a huge lake they have won planning permission to build. 

A design statement said: ‘The proposed garden machinery store is to be used solely in association with the main dwelling house.

‘It will serve as a machinery store for tractors, lawn mowers and other machinery required to manage the garden and grounds, including the adjacent fields which the owners have leased from Great Tew Estate.’

It’s all in the details: The Beckhams had to submit a detailed ecological report when applying for permission to build the new outbuilding

Hopes: A source said they ‘are used to their plans causing a stir with the council but they’ve taken so much care in all the details for their plans that they are confident it will pass’

The celebrity couple, who spent most of lockdown in the UK, are also planning a stylish driveway to the shed which will be covered with Cotswolds shingle.

The 55.8 square metre outbuilding will be of traditional design, and shielded from neighbours with hedgerows.   

The building will also have an office if husband David needs to work on his new US football club Inter Miami, or if Victoria needs to put time into her multi-million pound fashion brand.

The couple say the design of the shed will fit in with the beautiful country pad, with the plans stating: ‘The proposed garden machinery store will be completed using the same high-quality materials as used elsewhere on the site, with waney edged, horizontal weatherboard cladding to the walls, a plain clay tiled roof, timber doors and Crittall style metal windows.

‘The timber post and beam frame will be supported on staddle stones in local ironstone.’

Despite enraging neighbours with their several huge plans to develop the farmhouse, no one has objected to their latest project so far. 

Back in December, the couple’s plans to build a huge lake at their Cotswolds home began – despite backlash from neighbours. 

Diggers were pictured excavating the proposed site, to work on expanding the size of the existing lake from 2976 sq metres to 4,170 sq metres, so they could add an island.

When David and Victoria submitted the plans, they were met with concern from fellow residents who voiced fears of the brood ‘racing speed boats and shattering the peace’.  

Despite protests from residents, the council gave the couple permission to create the water feature on their land in August. 

Causing a stir: David and Victoria recently courted controversy by getting the green light to extend a huge kidney-shaped lake, and they also gained permission for a massive wine cellar 

The Beckham family’s building plans had previously been blocked to protect wildlife before being given the green light under certain conditions.  

The couple will have to plant hedgerows and trees to protect native birds, and also use special lights to help bats. 

The lake has been the subject to much discussion from residents, with one writing to the council at the time of the proposal voicing their objection, asserting that ‘it is just not on!’  

According to The Sun, one neighbour said in a letter of complaint to West Oxfordshire District Council: ‘I must object in the strongest terms to this new proposal. I was an objector to the original plan and my concerns were ignored.

‘I feel that his plan to enlarge the lake could increase the chances of flooding in the area considerably. Also, the lake looks just too large for the area it sits in.

 ‘It is out of keeping with the area and what is planned next? Motor boats zooming up and down and shattering the peace? it is just not on and should not be allowed.’

Despite the uproar from neighbours, the lake extension is the Beckhams’ latest planning success after they were given the green light to build a wine cellar and a guard house. 

The lake was required to have an underground chamber – known as a hibernacula – to help support reptiles, amphibians and hedgehogs. 

The council also requires the Beckhams to submit a five-year maintenance plan to show how they will support the area’s biodiversity.

Several residents objected to the plans. Neighbour Michael Douglas blasted the couple for ‘trying to bring suburbia to the countryside’.

He said: ‘If they had wanted all they have applied for, why not find an estate which was big enough to accommodate all of this.’ 

Big plans: David and Victoria spent much of the UK’s first lockdown at their Oxfordshire farmhouse (pictured with children Brooklyn, Cruz, Harper and Romeo)

However, West Oxfordshire District Council ignored residents’ objections to the Beckhams’ plans.

The council’s report said it had three letters of objection from neighbours, with some residents branding the lake ‘ugly’, ‘monstrous’ and ‘out of keeping’ with the posh area.  

It summarised their concerns as: ‘Out of keeping. Won’t appear a natural feature. Will alter the visual impact of the countryside in that area of green fields with crops in them. Harmful to wildlife. How are they proposing to fill this lake?

‘If yet another bore hole, Soho Farmhouse, is drilled down it will of course affect the water table.’

However Ms Eldrige’s report said: ‘The site is in a relatively isolated location so the development will not impact any neighbouring properties.’ 

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