AN intrepid couple have elected for a "ambitious" lifestyle change and bought an established vineyard in Stourport.

Tim and Bev Haywood have purchased the land and business of Astley Vineyard, in Stourport, from former owner Jonty Daniels.

Astley Vineyard was established in 1971 and now the five-strong Haywood family have plans to take the business to the next level. The new team in charge includes Tim and Bev, son and daughter-in-law Chris and Matleena and daughter Daisy.

The Haywoods have been supported by Worcester-based solicitors Thursfields during the process.

Mr Haywood, a recently retired financial director, said: "The purchase of Astley Vineyard was a brave step for family.

"We are not from an agricultural background so we needed some professional and local advice to make sure the transaction went smoothly.

"The team at Thursfields were most supportive, and we had complete confidence in them all the way through the legal process."

The vineyard is classed as a boutique producer with just under five acres under vine. Astley's focus over the years has concentrated on white wines and the business also produces a sparkling wine made from its unique 40-year-old Kerner vine, and a Late Harvest wine.

Mr Haywood was recently announced as Prince Charles Ambassador to the West Midlands, as part of the Business in the Community Responsible Business initiative.

He was formerly group finance director and head of sustainability at global construction and facilities conglomerate, Interserve plc.

Mr Haywood added: "We have ambitious plans for the future of Astley Vineyard - there is a lot of potential for developing the vineyard which has been producing award-winning wine for over 40 years.

"We know Thursfields will be there for us on our exciting adventure."