The Estate

Creating places where people feel alive

Our modern country estate provides safe, secure and breath-taking holiday homes, nestled within the tranquil Cotswold Water Park. It is mindfully designed around freshwater lakes, rivers and acres of untouched woodland, so you can enjoy some downtime from the crazy pace of urban life.

We strive to have a positive impact in everything we do, respecting nature and the wider community, as well as enhancing the health and wellbeing of families who invest in and enjoy our unique natural retreats.

Family Business

Sharing a love of nature

Habitat First Group is a development company, led by Red, Ruby and Rory Paxton, founded on the principle of creating holiday home communities that share a deep love of nature and a passion for exploring the great outdoors.

The family-run business launched Lower Mill Estate two decades ago, and more recently Silverlake in Dorset. In Devon, Birchwood now continues the legacy of combining excellence in architecture, interior design, state-of-the-art facilities, security and service.


Protecting and enhancing the wild life

Lower Mill Estate is home to a plethora of creatures great and small, thanks to its many lakes, meadows, woodlands and meandering rivers. Habitat First Group’s dedicated ecologist is in charge of re-wilding the estates and enhancing hundreds of wildlife species in perpetuity.

Keen eyes may spot our resident beavers and otters, or catch them on the live feed from our motion-activated cameras. House martins, nightingales and warblers return each year to breed at the estate whilst migrating ospreys have been spotted in the skies overhead – with luck, they may one day nest in the grounds.


Holiday home-owning with a conscience

A belief in ethical integrity underpins all our operations. By their very nature, our modern developments avoid the issue of turning rural villages into ghost towns mid-week, whilst still generating local income and jobs. We regenerate our development sites, creating habitats for wildlife as much as for people, with recognition for excellence by The Wildlife Trust.

Houses on the estate are architecturally adventurous yet sustainably minded, with measures to reduce energy and heat loss. They stand the test of time and provide an environment for families to grow responsibly, safely and enjoyably, while instilling a love of nature in future generations.


Cultivating peace of mind

Lower Mill Estate is a place to embrace quality time with friends and family, to enjoy weekends and holidays far away from the traffic, pollution and stresses of the city. Everything is geared towards the opportunity to switch off and relax, making full use of the joys of the countryside surrounded by modern comforts and beautiful scenery.

On top of a myriad of activities and adventures to keep the family entertained, Lower Mill Estate removes many of the inconveniences of owning a holiday home, with maintenance, security and management of the grounds and properties provided as standard.


Award-winning spa

A modernist, tranquil sanctuary, the residents-only family spa has two heated 20m pools – one indoor and one outdoor – as well as a steam room, sauna, Technogym, library and reading area. For an invigorating lift to the system, there’s also a bracing outdoor eco-pool, naturally filtered by water lilies.

If pampering is the order of the day, more than twenty gentle therapies are on offer in the spa’s treatment rooms, with the added benefit of being only a short walk from your front door. Pop in for a facial, body exfoliation, pregnancy treatment, massage, manicure or pedicure.

Using products by natural brand GAIA. Inspired by GAIA, the Greek goddess of nature, the organic products are created with the finest blends of plant actives and essential oils to meet all skin types’ needs.