Wendy Stowe will become one of the UK’s few female harbourmasters when she takes over the post on the Beaulieu River next month

Beaulieu River is getting ready for a changing of the guard next month, with harbourmaster Mike Nicholls retiring after 42 years working for the Montagu estate.

His replacement and former deputy, Wendy Stowe, will become one of the first female harbourmasters in the UK when she takes over at the beginning of April.

Keen sailor Wendy, 42, said of her appointment: “My challenge will be to keep pace with modern demands which make it a popular boating destination, while keeping its natural charm and unique character.”

Beaulieu River is one of the few privately owned rivers in the world and features 115 marina berths at Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour, which recently came under its management.

Russell Bowman, managing director for the Beaulieu River, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new harbourmaster to her role and grateful to Mike for so many years at the helm.

“The Beaulieu River is one of the most picturesque locations on the south coast and its award-winning yacht harbour has a long track record of giving a very personal and outstanding service to its customers which we will continue to build on in the future,” he added.