The latest acquisition is 40 hectares off Charnham Park Road, which it is hoped will become, once planning is granted, the Kennet Valley Wetland Reserve.
In addition we own 5 miles of rivers and chalk streams which are operated as a fishery. The fishery is where the majority of the income originates. Hungerford Common is also home to the Cricket and Football Clubs, and the Second World War Memorial Ground dedicated to the memory of the 38 men of Hungerford who lost their lives.
The Government has the estate registered as a farm, and as such it can benefit from agricultural grants.
The Town and Manor estate was valued, in 2012, at £6,000,000. The valuation just indicates the extent of the Trustees’ responsibilities, as the Common Land (Hungerford Portdown and Freeman’s Marsh) and the Village Green (the Croft) cannot be sold under the current law.
One of the main requirements of the charitable scheme under which the charity is regulated, which was ‘sealed in 1908’, is to maintain the Town Hall (which comprises the Corn Exchange, Magistrates’ Room and Town Hall itself) built in 1871. Hungerford Town Hall is probably the only Town Hall in Britain that is privately owned and maintained, without recourse to the public purse.
Hungerford Portdown Common and Freeman’s Marsh are Registered Common and are subject to the Countryside and Rights of Way Acts 2000, 2004 and 2007. These lands are open to the public year-round and cost nothing for the public to use.