As a business we are passionate about protecting the environment and ensuring our decisions are sustainable. As custodians of the estate, we understand the far-reaching effect of our management decisions for generations to come.
We are committed to managing a successful business whist protecting the environment, habitats and heritage of the estate. Below are some of the measures we have taken to ensure a sustainable future for the estate:
We are increasing our woodland to provide a carbon sink.
Between 2017 and 2020 we will have planted over 100 000 new trees creating wholly new woodland and have plans to plant more. This is in addition to the restocking of woodland which has been thinned or felled on the estate.
We have reduced carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy.
We have installed three district heating systems to timber of the estate that has no other use other than to produce wood chip. These 3 heating systems have replaced14 fossil fuel boilers with a fully sustainable form of fuel and a reduction in greenhouse gasses. In addition, we sell fully certified firewood to consumers, a wholly renewable energy produced on the estate. We plan in the future to be generating our own electric, with the aim of running our delivery vehicles and powering our production equipment. Currently we are experimenting with polytunnel technology to enhance the log drying process.
We are constantly improving habitats on the estate for local wildlife.
The estate is currently involved in several environmental schemes. One of particular relevance is the management of our lowland moor. Here we are encouraging wildlife and fauna such as spagnum moss and heather regrowth. We are also working with the Environment Agency to help secure the future of the signal crayfish, the indigenous crayfish. The river Wansbeck which runs through the estate is believed to be one of the best sites in Europe.
We are improving the health of our soils.
We are introducing a green crop into our arable rotation as well as spreading muck produced by livestock on the estate. Both processes help to increase the soil structure and organic matter levels in the soil, which in turn helps improve drainage and decrease the dependency on artificial fertilisers.
We are protecting and maintaining heritage on the estate.
We aim to protect both tangible and intangible heritage, whether it is the maintenance of our old and listed buildings or the active support of traditional skills and activities. Heritage is much more than preserving, excavating, displaying or restoring old things, it is about living it and identifying with it and it helps to identify who we are. We are currently involved in a major reroofing exercise of old redundant farm buildings whilst also actively encouraging and utilising traditional skills such as dry stone walling and hedge laying.
We are passionate about recycling.
We now utilise a company which collects and recycles all our plastics. We also run a recycling service for the bags used by our sustainable firewood business.
What more can we do?
We have plans to utilise solar panels to run our log processing production lines, the utilisation of electric delivery vehicles, further ongoing research into new farming methods in line with the environment, enterprises, job security for the family and the estate employees, researching and overcoming the barriers to maintaining an active and thriving rural community whilst actively promoting the needs of rural enterprise and its traditions.