Posted: 9 February 2013
Ruston House is the house next door to Ruston Reaches, two terraces of holiday cottages originally intended as a specialist fishing venue. It was planned to house the manager of the complex. That's why the lake, which was constructed at the same time as the house, extends behind all the cottages.
The first owner of Ruston House ran the whole complex which, at that time, included two fishing lakes. When he came to sell, the complex was broken up and the cottages sold off. Now each of the cottages has a different owner, some of whom let their cottages commercially, while others use them as weekend cottages.
Planning restrictions require that original manager's house must not be sold separately from the cottages and that the cottages can only be used as second or holiday homes. Hence, when they were sold, the cottages all became leasehold properties, paying a peppercorn ground rent to the owner of Ruston House. When sold again the second fishing lake was lost from the freehold of the house.
So, while the house and cottages have different owners, each with their own reason for owning their properties, all have much in common when it comes to the lake and the land around their various properties.
As you might expect, the cottages come with rights to fish in the lake. However, in the last few seasons otters have found the lake and it no longer offers the quality of fishing that it once did.
As third owners of the house, we bought the house knowing this history. For us the appeal was in the house itself, its immediate environment and the village in which it is set. We have no interest in fishing and a casual interest in wildlife. That is said as we have other interests and the grounds are far more than we would hope to maintain as a formal garden. So letting nature have its way, and offering only the lightest of touches in the management of the grounds is the plan.
This blog is planned as a record of what we see from the house and while walking around the grounds, of the conversations we have with cottage owners and those staying in them, of the guidance we seek in deciding how to manage the grounds, of what we do, and the results. It is hoped that it will give holiday makers at Ruston Reaches some idea about what to expect of the place during their stay, and the cottage owners an understanding of us and our approach to both the grounds and lake.