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.”
A progressive independent commercial business, created by Act of Parliament. Our portfolio includes the whole of Regent Street and much of St James’s in London’s West End, prime regional shopping centres, Windsor Great Park, rural land and coastline, and the UK’s seabed.
Windsor Great Park is known for its native oaks and ancient woodland, and designated as an SSSI and an SAC for grassland areas as well as its trees.
Windsor Great Park and forest has one of the largest collections of ancient and veteran oak trees that remain anywhere in northern Europe. This area is important not only historically, but also environmentally, as our trees and grasslands support a diverse range of wildlife. It is for this reason that you will see some fallen trees, as these are intentionally left alone to provide natural habitats, and make the woodland richer. Visit our page on Dead Wood Habitats for more information.
Our long-term tree planting programme ensures that we are creating well-balanced woodland that encompasses a spread of generations and varieties. We achieve this by continually monitoring the tress, planting a variety of native species, and thinning when necessary – and we are also introducing a greater proportion of species such as hawthorn, rowan and native cherries. These species are particularly valuable for wildlife as they provide an excellent source of food for insects, which enables them to thrive.
Many of the older oak trees and monoliths which tower above our woods and parkland are recorded as being between 500 and 1,000 years old. We also have over 125 Champion Trees across the Great Park, which are each clearly marked. This prestigious accolade is awarded to the tallest tree and/or the tree with the greatest girth of its kind in the UK, by the Tree Register of the British Isles (TROBI).
Another important function of the ongoing work within the Park is to survey and identify the many varieties of grass species that we have. We then use this information to help inform the management techniques that need to be employed in order to develop the spread and variety of grass species.