This year marks the Platinum Jubilee of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, the only British monarch to celebrate this milestone. In honour of this momentous occasion, we are hosting a right Royal knees-up at Silverlake, Dorset and we would love you to join in our celebrations!

On Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June, we will be hosting a range of activities for you and your family to get involved with, from exploring the estate, celebrating hopes and aspirations for the planet over the next 70 years, a communal BBQ and much more. Hurricane Terrace will also have some celebratory cocktails on offer, helping you to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend.

A Royal treat
On Saturday afternoon from 1200-1400 in the Yurt, we will be hosting a royal treat for your little ones, with a Corgi biscuit decorating session. Your children can let their creative side run wild as they decorate their corgi cookies, with delicious icing, sprinkles and sweets – the perfect pairing to a good British cup of tea! Tickets are £10 and include everything you need to decorate 4 pre-baked cookies.  If you’ve already got a royal engagement and can’t join us, we have a take-home kit available to purchase at the Hurricane Terrace.

A good old-fashioned knees-up
To continue the celebrations, we will be holding a BBQ on the afternoon of Saturday 4th June. Join us at the pizza shack from 1200 – 1500, where our chefs will be cooking up a selection of the best seasonal, locally sourced ingredients for you to savour. With a choice of burgers and stunning salads, our BBQ will champion some of Dorset’s finest. Food will be £15 per adult and £8 per child under eleven years old, which will be payable on the day and includes a celebratory Jubilee drink. 

The Queens green canopy
Nature is at the heart of everything we do, so to celebrate the Queen’s green canopy, we have chosen the trees alongside the beach, as the destination for you to tie messages of hope for the planet over the next 70 years. Head over to the Activity Hub and pick up our tree of hope package for just £3. Containing a wooden tag and ribbon for you to write your message, before tying it to our tree. You’ll also receive a packet of wildflowers for you to take home and plant. Not just a great memory of your time at Silverlake, but as the wildflowers bloom, they create a fabulous feast for many species, helping them to thrive through summer.

70 miles for 70 years
Head out on the estate and make a splash on the lakes with our community Strava club! Jump on a paddle board, hop on a bike, or get a group of you in a Katakanu and record your activity on Strava. Any miles you do at both Lower Mill Estate and Silverlake will be counted. A fun activity for both our residents and guests to see how many miles you can do over the 4-day weekend! 

A Royal expedition
If you’re out and about exploring the estate, head over to the Activity Hub to pick up one of our expedition sheets for the ultimate game of eye-spy! Keep your eyes peeled to find an exciting array of wildlife, flowers and interesting items at every corner of the estate. With 70 things to see and do the kids can have a digital detox for the whole weekend. Take on various challenges in the playgrounds, keep your eyes peeled to see Dartmoor ponies, listen out for various birdsong but most of all have fun! To keep you fuelled for adventure, each participant will get some chocolate coins to enjoy – with the royal seal of approval of course!

With so much to see and do, book now to stay with us and celebrate like a Royal this June. We can’t wait to give you and your family the Royal welcome!

House Martins and Swifts have just become Red-listed birds of conservation concern. Tragically, numbers have declined so dramatically that they are now of the highest conservation priority, with both species requiring urgent action.

In 2005, at our sister estate, Lower Mill Estate, we put up 60 artificial nesting boxes for House martins. In the following years, these were regularly used and the numbers across the Estate boomed as House martins built nests on the new houses in Clearwater and Howells Mere.

At our peak about three years ago we had nearly 250 nests which were thought by the British Trust for Ornithology to be the largest House martin population in the UK. Over the last two years, we have seen the number of House martins decline as they have struggled to get to the UK, following big storms in the Mediterranean.

We are keeping everything crossed that the numbers will increase and to support this, we are encouraging residents to leave natural nests on their houses all year, and we are creating areas of mud where the birds can collect nest-building material. It takes three days for House martins to repair a nest ready for the next summer, and three weeks to build a new one. A lot of work after a long journey from Africa.

At both our estates, we have swift towers which are designed to attract nesting swifts and we are hopeful that they will be used soon. All new properties are being fitted with a swift brick or swift box to encourage these beautiful birds to nest once they find us.

For more information on what we do or if you are a resident who would like to know how to help, please contact us at sustainability@habitatfirstgroup.com.

Start the celebrations early with our festivities this winter. From seasonal specials, gingerbread houses and wreath making, we’ve got something for everyone this season. 

For the children
We’ll be hosting a gingerbread decorating workshop at the Yurt on Tuesday 21st December for an afternoon of fun and delicious treats! All the gingerbread pieces are hand-baked by our chefs and there will be an array of coloured icing, sweets and treats to choose from to decorate your own house.

If you can’t join us for the afternoon but would like to order a kit to collect, please send an email to msiadatan@habitatfirstgroup.com.

Please be aware that this event is limited to a maximum of 20 participants. Tickets are £10 per person and one kit will be provided per ticket.

For the adults
Come and join us in the Yurt to create your own festive wreath with The Dorset Flower Company. In this two hour session, all the materials you need to create your perfect wreath will be provided, including seasonal foliage and decorative ribbons – the only thing you need to bring is yourself. We have two sessions available: one for residents (1000-1200) and one for our guests (1400-1600).

Please be aware that this event is limited to a maximum of 12 participants with one wreath per household. Tickets are £40pp and include all the materials you need, including seasonal foliage and decorative ribbons.

For the big day
Not forgetting the main event itself, we have our ever-popular Christmas Dinner boxes available for pre-order. Our meat is sourced from the prestigious Jesse Smith’s, who pride themselves on sourcing premium livestock from local farms. Accompanied by a selection of delicious ready-to-roast vegetables. 

All you need to do is complete an order form and email msiadatan@habitatfirstgroup.com before Friday 17th December. Your box will then be ready and waiting to collect from the Hurricane Bar on Christmas Eve. While you’re there, why not treat yourself to a delicious glass of mulled wine or cider, to get you in the Christmas spirit.

We look forward to welcoming you to celebrate Christmas with us and don’t forget to tag us in your photos as we love to see you enjoying the estate.

We are delighted to announce that Silverlake, Dorset has been recognised as a category winner at this year’s prestigious UK Property Awards.

Habitat First Group – Sustainable Residential Development, The Corner House, Silverlake, Dorset

Celebrating the highest levels of achievement, the awards are a world-renowned mark of excellence among the property and real estate sector. With a panel of over 90 worldwide, industry-leading experts, the awards are the ultimate accolade to receive.

As with all our awards, we would like to thank our teams for their contribution to both these projects. With special thanks to Conservation Builders Ltd for continually pushing the boundaries to help us deliver our dream of architectural and sustainable living and to our Chief Ecologist, Dr. Phoebe Carter, for her continuing passion to create sustainable developments, balancing conservation and construction.

This October half-term, things are getting spooky at Silverlake, Dorset.

Not only will there be some delicious cocktails creeping onto the menu at the Hurricane Bar, but we are also running a Pumpkin carving competition for our residents and guests.

To be in with a chance of winning either a Fortnum & Mason hamper filled with tasty treats, or an assortment of delicious chocolate goodies, all you need to do is get crafting.

If you’re staying at Silverlake this October, pop up to the Hurricane Bar to take you pick of our pumpkins and make your purchase, before hurrying home to get carving.

To enter, it’s simple, just follow these easy steps –

Purchase your pumpkin
Create your design
Post a photo to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #HabitatHalloween. Don’t forget to tag us in it too – @habitatescapes @silverlakedorset

We’ll be announcing a winner and runner up for each of the estates so keep an eye out to see if you’ve won on Thursday 28th October. The winner will be contacted and announced on social media.

We can’t wait to see your entries, good luck and happy carving!

Throughout June we held a competition to win your ultimate celebration: an opportunity for one lucky winner to host the ultimate celebration for 3 nights, for up to 12 guests at either Silverlake (Dorset) or Lower Mill Estate (The Cotswolds).

The prize came with an incredible package including:

With so many missed celebrations over the past year or so, we were inundated with entries. We are delighted to congratulate Hannah Martin with her below entry.

‘We missed my mums 60th birthday celebrations. We were supposed to go on a cruise. It was cancelled. It was going to be a big celebration for my mum to enjoy. We lost my Dad in the summer of 2019. As a family like many others going through grief, the pandemic cut us off from friends and family when we needed them the most. To possibly win such a gift for her would be amazing. Hopefully we can ALL be together in person for her and celebrate in style.’

We very much look forward to welcoming Hannah and her guests to Silverlake, Dorset in April to help host their ultimate celebration.


Our parent company, Habitat First Group, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year; a journey that started with our sister estate, Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds. Having paved the way to people living harmoniously with nature, Silverlake is fast blossoming into its next phase, Shepperd’s View. 

To mark the momentous occasion, Habitat First Group has created a special one-off podcast with Diane Wynell-Sutherland, who joined the journey at the very beginning. She looks back over her time with Habitat First Group, working with Jeremy Paxton and at turning Jeremy’s vision into a beautiful reality, which is carried on today by Jeremy’s children, Red, Ruby and Rory.

Sharing anecdotes about their time together, Diane describes Jeremy’s unique approach to selling his dream. From ensuring that the first residents at Lower Mill Estate had leisure facilities from day one, to Jeremy’s inspirational visit to America, Diane talks about how both the architecture and estate plans have developed over time to reflect changing tastes.

One thing that has been consistent yet changed in a way that Jeremy may not have anticipated, is the overwhelming response from residents who enjoy the space that they call home. His vision was always to create a safe and familiar space for families to come together, where they could create memories that would last a lifetime. This legacy is something that his children, Red, Ruby and Rory, have continued in his honour and something that Diane believes would have Jeremy ‘busting with pride’.

Speaking about her own feelings towards the estate, Diane shared ‘It’s like heaven, it’s infectious and I cannot leave. Anyone that owns a house here is incredibly fortunate and I can see there will be a very long waiting list when we have finished on site.’

Having been with Habitat First Group for just over two decades, Diane has also spent six incredible years of her journey creating our sister estate, Silverlake in Dorset. Diane has now returned to Lower Mill Estate, as we inch closer to completion, to see as she says, ‘the very last brick on the very last chimney’.

To hear more about Diane’s incredible memories over the last 25 years, you can listen to the podcast here.  

This summer we were delighted to welcome the return of events to the estate, having not had a celebration together since Christmas 2019, they had been eagerly anticipated. 

On Wednesday 25th August we hosted a taste of summer at the Hurricane Terrace. Residents and guests at Silverlake enjoyed an array of tea-time delicacies: from finger sandwiches, fresh meringues, and sumptuous strawberries. The team at the Hurricane Terrace had created a fresh, summery Pimm’s cocktail, which was accompanied by the sound of smooth jazz by trio, Neon Blue.

With the mellow sounds drifting across the estate, the sun shone brightly with a gently breeze for the occasion. The terrace was a sea of smiles and laughter once again, with everyone enjoying themselves.

On Thursday 26th August, a Spanish summer was held at Lower Mill Estate. With a large paella cooking over the fire pit, the air was filled with a delightful aroma, creating quite a queue throughout the day! The team at Ballihoo also created a selection of stunning cocktails: a traditional sangria and a rebujito, a sherry-based mojito. The atmosphere livened up with the arrival of Mr Wilson’s Second Liners: a Hacienda marching band with a strong 90’s party vibe.

Bursting out to the sound of ‘Fatboy Slim’s Praise You’, the party atmosphere kicked off and soon everyone was on their feet dancing the afternoon away in the glorious sunshine. Guests and residents made the most of the weather, bringing picnic blankets and chairs to help create a real Spanish fiesta.

It was wonderful to see both of the Estates full of energy and enjoyment and we look forward to hosting more events, as circumstances allow, for our residents and guests in the future.*

It’s a been a while since we’ve all been able to come together, so we’re excited to finally celebrate with an exclusive event at the Hurricane Terrace, Silverlake, on Wednesday 25th August.

Featuring live jazz from Neon Blue: a jazz trio known for its soft, atmospheric tones to get toes tapping.  

Live music will be accompanied by a selection of teatime delicacies, from finger sandwiches, fresh meringues and sumptuous strawberries with summery drinks.*

Come along to the soft sounds of smooth jazz from across the terrace, whilst mingling with residents and guests from across the estate.

If you’re due to be staying at Silverlake on 25th August and don’t yet have an invite, please contact marketing@habitatfirstgroup.com for more information.

We do hope that you can join us and look forward to seeing you all soon! 

*Food will be £12 per adult and £6 per child under eight years old, which will be payable on the day. The cream tea will be available from 1200 until 1800 and music will run from 1530 until 1830.