Matt Aldridge, Compton, Berkshire
Matt balances his thriving beekeeping hobby with a busy family life and running his own business. His background is in the wine trade so talking to him about the differences between the honeys he has harvested from across his 4 apiary sites was really interesting, especially with them being taken at different times during the season. One honey was taken at the end of July from the Vale and Downland Beekeeping Association's teaching apiary at Ardington Wick which is in the middle of a large arable farm which grows oilseed rape, field beans and other cereal crops.
Matt also keeps hives on the Yattendon Estate, which is over 9,000 acres of mixed arable and woodland in West Berkshire and more in a wonderful garden at Hampstead Norreys. These bees are close to Yattendon Estate and Wylde Court which, as well as farmland, provide bees with long avenues of horse chestnut and lime trees leading to local manor houses!
Matt's fourth apiary is in the landscaped grounds of Woolley Park country house just south of the Ridgeway in West Berkshire. Here his bees enjoy Capability Brown style parkland that is surrounded by arable land and woodland.