Wimpole Estate, National Trust: Case Study

September 29, 2021

Wimpole Estate, near Cambridge, is a National Trust property with a long and varied history. On land occupied for at least two thousand years, the impressive hall dates back to the 17th century and was home to a series of high-profile families. 

Besides the hall, gardens, and parkland enjoyed by visitors, the estate also includes a working Home Farm, which produces large quantities of grain each year. This makes it necessary to clean out the grain stores annually, and the purchase of a Big Brute Warehouseman made the job far more straightforward this year. 

About Wimpole Estate

There is evidence for occupation of what is now the Wimpole Estate during Roman, Anglo-Saxon and mediaeval times, while a recent archaeological dig has suggested a possible pre-Roman settlement. The present hall, replacing a mediaeval manor house, was begun in the 1640s. Occupants through the following centuries included the Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of Oxford and five Earls of Hardwicke. The last owner, who left the estate to the National Trust on her death in 1976, was the only surviving child of author Rudyard Kipling. 

Wimpole Estate includes the National Trust’s only working lowland arable farm. In line with the Trust’s values, this is operated organically and responsibly, employing cutting-edge sustainable methods, as well as providing meadows, hedges and margins that support a wide variety of wildlife, including threatened species. Crops include wheat, rye, spelt, oats, and barley, which are used to produce bread, porridge and beer — all organic. 

The Requirement

As with any arable farm, Wimpole Estate’s Home Farm has the need to store the grain from its various harvests until they’re required for use. Although the stores will normally be empty by the time of the next harvest, there will be sweepings of grain and, more seriously, insects and animal remains, including droppings, all of which could contaminate the new grain. 

This obviously makes it essential that the stores are thoroughly cleaned out before the new harvest is put in. This is a long, arduous job, to be completed before the harvest, which can be quite challenging. The team at Wimpole Estate was therefore looking for a means of making this annual task less time consuming and labour intensive. 

Why Big Brute Warehouseman Was Selected

The Big Brute Warehouseman is the ideal solution to this problem. First of all, its power enables it to remove all debris from the floors quickly and efficiently. At the same time, because it has large, front-mounted floor brush skims, it doesn’t stir up any dust as it cleans. 

Secondly, the Big Brute Warehouseman comes equipped with extremely long hoses. This means that you can reach down into grain pits or up into rafters and elevators without having to drag the machine itself around. 

In addition, the Big Brute Warehouseman comes with optional Floor, Wall, and Ceiling Toolkits. These allow you to get into the hardest-to-clean areas of your grain stores, making sure no old grain or animal remains survive to spoil your incoming harvest. 

The Result 

The purchase of the Big Brute Warehouseman has enabled Wimpole Estate to clean out their grain stores not only much more quickly than usual, but also more thoroughly. This has meant they can make far better use of the operator’s time while ensuring their produce is free of contaminants. 

The National Trust team are so impressed with their Big Brute that they are planning to also use our products in many of their historic buildings where, though the environment is different, the challenges are often very similar.

Summary Outcome

The use of the Big Brute Warehouseman for the Wimpole Estates grain stores has been an outstanding success, and the staff are delighted. 

Tractor operator Albert Dunn was highly impressed with the Big Brute: “Great product — does what it says on the tin! Helped us out when time was short. I’m looking forward to making a quick and easy job of combine cleaning, now that harvest is over. There may also be plans to use it in our historic buildings. The accessories for awkward spaces make a much more thorough job. Very happy to have a machine that is really up for the job.” 

Farm Business Services Coordinator Helen Muir agrees: “Big Brute made a huge difference to the preparation of the grain stores this year, making a much more efficient use of [Albert’s] time in a very unpredictable harvest season. In a year when additional drying is necessary, our stores are working efficiently with accumulated debris from the previous year thoroughly removed.” 

Next steps

Whether you’re cleaning grain stores, an industrial unit or a historic building, here at Big Brute our friendly sales consultants are ready to help you make the right choice — and one which will stand you in good stead for decades to come. 

Telephone: 01223 88 22 22

Email: info@bigbrute.co.uk