MEET THE TEAM
Mark is passionate about the Hampshire countryside and works hard to balance a desire to welcome people onto the estate while ensuring that it remains the extraordinary chalk-stream ecosystem that it is. Recently his focus has been on supporting the launch of The Grange Festival, building a new Equestrian Centre with his cousin Francesca Baring, collaborating with his siblings on producing sparkling wine from the Vineyard they have planted on the estate, developing camping and holiday accommodation, alongside the more traditional agricultural and property enterprises.
Mark has managed the Grange Estate, which is owned by his family, since 2014. Prior to that he worked in finance, originally in corporate finance and then in wealth management, with spells in New York and Singapore as well as in London.
Sophie leads the development of the events business. She works alongside Mark and the rest of the team to ensure a sustainable and healthy future for the estate. She loves observing how much other people enjoy such a beautiful place and understands what the important ingredients are for a great experience. After a background in advertising, innovation and business re-invention, mainly in big businesses, she is really enjoying the challenge.
Sophie’s career has spanned advertising (Yellowhammer and Leo Burnett), innovation (?What If!) and business transformation (Businessthreezero). Latterly she has been MD of both, ?What If! and Businessthreezero. She has helped a wide spectrum of large and small organisations as diverse as Pernod Ricard, Tesco, Abbvie, Murphy and The Grange Festival.
Julia loves giving people what they want when it comes to creating great events. She knows the The Grange Hampshire inside out and can help navigate it so that it can give of its best. She has worked on the estate since 2014, first as a PA to Mark and now as the Events Manager.
Julia’s previous 25 year career was in Broadcasting with the BBC, ITV and independent production companies and she worked across a diverse range of programmes including daytime, documentaries and factual.
Julia is wife to Chris and mum to 2 teenage girls. She loves spending time outdoors with her family and her dogs, particularly as driver and groom to her horse-mad youngest daughter who competes at British Eventing level as well as representing her Pony Club and school.
Laura really enjoys the pace and bustle of managing the holiday lets and properties at The Grange Hampshire and gets a lot of satisfaction from making her work as positive and productive as possible. She loves the challenge of liaising and working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
Laura was born and raised in the Republic of Moldova and graduated in Finance and Banking followed by a Masters in European Project Financing Management at Bucharest University. She is fluent in English, Romanian and Russian and has a working knowledge of French.
Laura’s experience as a travel agent, before settling in the UK, has stood in her very good stead as she welcomes new people to The Grange Hampshire.
Mark, known as Mel to differentiate him from Mark Baring, looks after the management of the estate on a day to day basis. He says that it’s more than a job, it’s a way of life. Every day is different and his role encompasses everything from looking after the Estate’s somewhat antiquated private water supply, to running the teams of contractors employed to renovate its various properties. The role allows him to use his innate ability for practical problem solving and to deal with the many challenges that come his way.
Mel began his career in game keeping and farming and, for a time, joined his Dad in the Portsmouth Dockyard where he learned to be more of a builder and engineer, before going back to work on another large Hampshire estate. Seventeen and a half years later he joined the team at The Grange Hampshire.
Mel is a passionate Portsmouth Football Club supporter. He scuba dives and sails whenever he gets time.
Julia has found her dream job at The Grange Hampshire, combining her love of the countryside with her enjoyment of music and theatre – and having The Grange Festival offices next door is a great bonus. She finds the busy pace of life and the opportunities to work with a variety of people a rewarding experience and feels lucky that she can perform her role in such an interesting field.
Julia qualified as a Farm Administrator at Sparsholt College and spent many years working in local farm offices before a short sojourn into the world of conventional accounting where she gained an additional AAT qualification. She is now happy to have returned to the agricultural world and is also excited by the diversification into viticulture that this role offers her.
Max manages the woods, meadows and parkland on the estate with the aim of creating and maintaining good, healthy habitat beneficial for the sporting activities and wildlife. He loves the variety and range of skills needed to do his job well; from forestry to organising the beaters and chatting up the guns on a days shooting.
Max has been working at The Grange Hampshire since 2011, starting out as a part time estate worker, moving to the assistant gamekeeper and taking over as head keeper in time for the 2018 season.
In his spare time Max can be found deer stalking, shooting clay pigeons, working on Land Rovers, or doing something to help with local Young Farmers’ Club.
Richard is caretaker and gardener at The Grange Hampshire. He loves seeing the same people come back time and again to enjoy its unusual gloriousness, from those who come to the opera to those who walk their dogs daily. He gets pleasure from knowing how surprised people are that there is a fully functioning theatre in this idyllic spot. It is a hidden gem encased in an iconic building.
Richard has been a core member of The Grange Hampshire team since 1969. Excluding a brief interlude in Devon in 1984, he has been working in some form for the Baring family and the opera ever since.
Becka has sung on the stage at The Grange and catered extensively for both The Grange Festival and The Grange Hampshire estate. She is dedicated to maintaining her reputation for providing delicious, vibrant, generous seasonal food that champions local suppliers. Although she has a clear idea of the kind of food she does best she loves working with others to create something which they feel reflects who they are. She gets great satisfaction making sure that people have a brilliant time.
Becka has lived locally all her life and worked in Hampshire for the last 25 years. She has learnt her trade alongside celebrated chef Victoria Blashford Snell.