This year, we are working on the following projects. Please visit our blog for the latest news, updates and progress from our teams involved in delivering these crucial projects.
PIONEERING ENVIRONMENTAL GAIN
- The Great Farm Project – a trial farm site to establish if sustainable food production and wildlife conservation can work efficiently and productively on the average UK farm.
- North Norfolk Farming Partnership – working with neighbouring farmers and tenants to encourage them to farm in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, providing habitats and biodiversity alongside food production. Our conservation team has undertaken farm surveys of birds and hedgerows for our tenants to identify areas in which they can improve their biodiversity.
- Reduced grass mowing – leaving specific areas uncut which provides a food source for important pollinators, homes for insects and small mammals, as well as improving the diversity of plant life present. This year, we have reduced the area mowed by eight acres and in turn, reduced our fossil fuel usage and saved time.
- Autumn bird trails on the Holkham National Nature Reserve – two new trails, the Bluetail trail and the Warbler trail, have been cut into the reed bed to provide better opportunities for visitors to see and engage with our overwintering and migratory birds.
- Habitats and nest boxes – installing new nest boxes and habitat piles in the woodlands around our holiday cottages in Holkham Park to improve biodiversity.
CHAMPIONING LOW CARBON LIVING
- Baseline data – we are undertaking a carbon, waste, energy and water audit of our businesses to identify areas for improvement. This data will help us set annual targets to reduce waste and increase recycling rates across the estate. We are also undertaking a detailed carbon audit of our farm and woodland including the areas which we manage for wildlife so that we can understand how much carbon we take in and store, as well as focus our operations on reducing our carbon footprint.
- Blacksmiths Yard – delivering sustainable enhancements to new houses being built including bat boxes, swift nests, energy efficiencies via insulation, and use of other sustainable materials.
- Good Journey – promoting visits using public transport and cycling and walking throughout the estate.
- Green Tourism Awards – Holkham Enterprises (the visitor businesses) and Pinewoods holiday park are undergoing an assessment to hopefully join The Victoria Inn as holders of the Green Tourism Award.
- Low carbon weddings – working with our couples and their suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of weddings through reducing the waste produced, using local, seasonal produce, and offsetting transport through planting trees on the estate.
TREAT LIGHTLY, STAMP OUT WASTE
- Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink and refuse – reducing our waste produced, improving our recycling rates and not sending any waste to landfill are all projects being worked on across the estate. We are undertaking a feasibility study to turn waste sawdust from our carpentry workshop into briquettes to heat local homes, as well as working out how we can best deal with our compostable waste. We have installed recycling bins in our Courtyard and by the Woodland Play Area, and have a compactor on-site which reduces the number of bins we use. The Victoria Inn now send their food waste to an anaerobic digester where it is turned into electricity and compost, rather than going to landfill.
- Phasing out single-use plastic – we are auditing our cafes and catering concessions with the aim of removing items made from single-use plastic and those which cannot be recycled. So far, all of our drinks are in cans, including water, and our coffee cups and other packaging are made from plants, not plastic.
We will produce an annual report to benchmark our performance against our goals and KPI’s.