Ben Goldsmith reveals his Somerset farm is a love letter to his daughter Iris after she was tragically killed in a quad bike accident: ‘When I swam in our pond I felt a deep sense of comfort’
Ben Goldsmith has detailed how his beloved Somerset farmhouse is a love letter to his teenage daughter Iris.
The 42-year-old financier was devastated when Iris was tragically killed in an ATV accident in 2019 when she was just 15.
And talk to The Sunday timesBen explained that after purchasing Cannwood Farm, in Brewham Valley, Somerset, in 2009, he chose to re-wild the land in honor of his daughter.
He added that his farm and swimming in the nearby pond brought a “deep sense of comfort” to his grief following Iris’s tragic death.
Ben explained, “As I swam in our pond, I felt a deep sense of comfort. It was transient, but enough to give me relief from the madness of my grief.
Picturesque: Ben Goldsmith has detailed how his beloved Somerset farmhouse is a love letter to his teenage daughter Iris after her tragic death
“There’s a social pressure to farm conventionally, but when Iris died, I thought, fuck off.
“I want to prioritize the things she loved and I love, which is nature and wildlife. So I started removing the fences and ditches so that nature could reclaim the land. In the spring the farm is now awash with color and birdsong.’
Ben has seven children. He had three with his ex-wife Kate Rothschild: Iris, Frank and Isaac. In 2014, he married restaurateur Jemima Jones and the couple have since had four children: Eliza, Arlo, Vita, and Vincent.
Since Iris’s death, he has immortalized his daughter’s love of nature in the Iris Project – an initiative that helps fund and support young climate activists around the world.
He previously told that his children are still inspired by Iris and told FEMAIL: ‘I think they themselves are interested in dedicating their lives to environmental work.
“I think they think it’s a great idea that in Iris’s name we’re helping teens around the world do things Iris will never get the chance to do.
‘My eldest son Frankie is even going to work for one of our award winners in Bali… He’s studying engineering, and he’s going to be an engineer on the team.’
Ben added that involvement in the project work “brings them comfort.”
Changes: The financier explained that he has re-wilded the land in honor of his daughter, and that swimming in the nearby pond brought a “deep sense of comfort” to his grief
Transformed: He said, “I started removing the fences and ditches so that nature could reclaim the land. In spring the farm is now awash with color and birdsong’
But his ‘little ones’ – ranging in age from less than a year to about seven – ‘don’t really know about’ the organization.
Iris, a dazzling 15-year-old and the eldest of Ben’s seven children, passed away on his 280-acre Cannwood Farm estate in Somerset in July 2019.
She was playing in an SUV when it lost its balance, flipped over and pinned her to the ground.
The friend who had been driving her was unharmed, but the vehicle was too heavy to lift.
By the time a distraught Ben, playing cricket with friends and family at Charterhouse public school in Surrey, arrived an hour later, Iris was dead.
He and Iris’ mother Kate are now divorced, but both founded the Iris Project in memory of their daughter, which identifies and helps the most promising young environmentalists around the world.