Devon business is named one of the best places to work in the UK for the fourth time

The rural property and land management company Clinton Devon Estates has, once again, been named one of the best small businesses to work for in the UK.


Devon business is named one of the best places to work in the UK for the fourth time

At an awards ceremony held in London (26th February 2014), Clinton Devon Estates was honoured for the fourth successive time in the Best 100 Small Companies awards, reaching 39th position in the national table.

Each year Best Companies and the Sunday Times celebrate the best 100 small, mid-size and big workplaces in the UK.  Employees from participating organisations are surveyed, based on a rigorous methodology, enabling Best Companies to compile its authoritative list published by The Sunday Times every other year.

This year, 897 organisations entered the awards and 250,000 employees were surveyed, making Best Companies the largest workplace engagement survey in the UK.

The results of the 2014 survey revealed that Clinton Devon Estates staff had given their employer top marks for making a difference to the world and caring about the environment. Almost every member of the 65-strong team, which manages land and property across 25,000 acres of Devon, reported that they “never had a bad day at work”, placing them in the top five of satisfied staff.

Tom Houlden, 24, is part of Clinton Devon Estates’ four-strong forestry team whose work involves establishing and maintaining the Estates’ timber plantations as well as gates, fences and footpaths. He said: “Doing this job and being able to work outside in this part of the country is something I really enjoy. I grew up in East Budleigh and always thought I’d go and work in a city, but I’m really pleased to have this job and this life.”

Estates director John Varley congratulated his team on their achievement; “In the course of our daily work activities, which include farming, forestry, nature conservation, renewable energy, residential and commercial property, we are striving to hand over something better to the next generation who live and work on the land that we manage in North and East Devon. The majority of our goals are very long term, so it is very rewarding for the whole team to be able to celebrate our fourth Best Companies accolade.”   

Clinton Devon Estates sustainably manages 25,000 acres across North and East Devon with farming and forestry, housing for 1,500 people and premises for over 150 businesses. 15,000 acres of land is designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), including the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths which attracts more than half a million visitors each year. 

Clinton Devon Estates has previously achieved success in the Sunday Times 100 Best small companies to work for in 2008, 2010 and 2012.   

  • ClintonDevonBestCompanies14

Do what you can to elevate your profession. It is an honourable one

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

We are trustees for life of the countryside

– 22nd Baron Clinton, 2002

Handing over something more valuable than we have today,

– Estates ethos

But our power for good or evil in this world’s affairs in a countryside is enormous

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

…and the Lord Clinton was, by the whole Council, brought to the King’s presence, who after like thanks was given, was pleased that he should be made High Admiral of England and one of his Privy Council…

– Official record of appointment of 9th Baron Clinton as Lord High Admiral for life on 4th May 1550