It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. We extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and all members of the Royal Family.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was the Ranger of the Great Park for nearly 70 years and during this time his impact on one of the most recognised landscapes in the world has been immense. He has provided guidance and insight to our team to help them manage the Great Park and the wider estate, from the farms to the wildlife to the ancient woodlands, ensuring it can continue to offer a rich sanctuary for all, for generations to come. We will miss him greatly and there is no doubt that his influence will continue to be seen in our work across the Great Park.
His Royal Highness’s commitment to protecting the Great Park for the long-term can be best summed up in his own words: “The management of land is a very long-term business and the best results can only be achieved if there is confidence and continuity. We are enjoying the gardens and avenues and amenities planted by previous generations and it is because I feel myself to be a temporary custodian that I am planting for future generations.”
Working practices on the Windsor Estate are already being challenged in various ways to improve our sustainability – helping to make us Greener on the outside, and the inside!
Windsor Great Park is committed to working with the community around us and sharing our knowledge about managing the countryside and sustainability. The Green Workplaces initiative is tasked with helping to raise awareness of what we can all do within The Crown Estate to reduce our environmental footprint.
There are a number of sustainable practices already taking place across the Windsor Estate. Outside, we are looking at new ways to manage our parks, forests and gardens that will boost our green credentials - while inside, we are taking the initiative to engineer greener solutions into the construction of our new building projects.
The Crown Estate woodlands and forests throughout the UK are audited by the Soil Association Woodmark, and are certified against international sustainable management standards - in accordance with the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS).
These standards demonstrate that we have a clear strategy to reduce the use of synthetic chemicals, and that we monitor the effectiveness of these strategies annually. Windsor is also piloting an ultra-low volume herbicide system which greatly reduces the amount of chemicals being applied.
We use organic based oils such as rapeseed and vegetable oil-based chain lubricants for servicing our equipment. These are biodegradable and classed as non-water pollutants, and are therefore suitable for use in our ecologically sensitive SSSI and SPA areas. Our teams also use cordless power tools, powered by lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
Each year Windsor produces 2,100 tonnes of organic waste on average, which is converted into compost - saving The Crown Estate approximately £156,000 per annum in addition to the environmental benefits.
100% of waste generated by visitors is either recycled or converted into electricity at a local Energy from Waste plant. This waste is compacted within the Great Park into 15 tonne bales which has reduced waste collection heavy vehicle movements from a minimum of 8 per week to 2 per month.
The Windsor Estate is taking steps to move away from reliance on fossil fuels, with the development of a new Biomass Heating System - replacing the existing use of Natural Gas. This will ensure an overall reduction of 91% in CO2 emissions from the properties on the Estate, and is anticipated to reduce total carbon emissions within the estate by up to 63% when it comes into operation.
Woodchips will become the primary source of fuel for the Low Temperature Hot Water (LTHW) and Domestic Hot Water (DHW) systems within Windsor Great Park, and these will be produced locally, using the sustainable supply of timber on the Estate.