We are all part of Nature, not separate from it.
HRH The Prince of Wales
Our land is a precious asset. Cared for properly its benefits can be without limit, which is why we constantly strive to preserve and improve it.
With land stewardship comes a moral responsibility to build soil fertility and encourage rich biodiversity.
What is Natural Capital?
Natural capital is the stock of natural resources - such as plants, animals, air, water, woods, soils and minerals.
Why is Natural Capital important?
Our vision is to manage the Estate by balancing environmental, social and economic needs. By analysing our natural capital we can create a strategy to help us achieve this ‘Triple Bottom Line’ philosophy.
What have we discovered?
This audit has provided us with a highly detailed record of all our natural assets from hedges to ponds, trees to flood zones and soils to wildlife habitats.
What will our future strategy be?
The findings from our natural capital audit will help us to develop a 20-year environmental strategy from which we can improve our long-term resilience, introduce evidence-based decision-making and objectively enhance the Estate for the next generation.
This long-term environmental commitment will require careful ongoing management and annual reviews to ensure we are on target.
As a steward of the land we have a moral obligation to care for the earth and the waterways on the Estate, to engage in responsible farming, to nurture wildlife and to give back to Nature.
It is vital for us to establish more hedges, plant new trees and to improve water quality.
Come and join our growing group of local volunteers to help us identify specific insects, birds and plants on the Estate or perhaps plant some trees with us. If you are interested in getting involved or finding out more, please email Barnston Estate Manager, Edward Barnston, at: email@example.com
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
The Estate manages commercial forestry blocks which predominantly grow Norway spruce, Douglas fir, European larch and poplar.
Each year we commercially fell many thousands of tons of wood for a variety of end-uses, including residential cladding and timber frame structures as well as for the pallet, chipboard and biomass market.
To ensure sustainability, we undertake a strict re-planting programme to ensure all felled trees are replaced, including the recent re-stocking of 14,000 Douglas fir trees.
The Barnston bees
As pollinators, bees play a crucial part in every aspect of the ecosystem which is why we have established our own colony of bees on the Estate.
Edward Barnston, a keen beekeeper, introduced the first beehives onto the Estate in 2015.
Our current beehives have young queens. By letting the colony establish itself from 1,000 worker bees currently to up to 50,000 bees per hive, we will promote pollination across gardens, hedges, orchards and farmland.
Much of our daily food is highly reliant on bee pollination. Beekeeping is the oldest, highest form of agriculture, yet we are still learning about our environment and our impact through their activities. At best, we can only ever influence the intricate machinations of a queen and her precious colony, but we will never be able to dictate or control nature.
As a land steward there is a simplicity in recognising the need to not battle but to collaborate with Mother Nature and enhance the natural capital in our small corner of the world for future generations. In exchange, who would forego the reward of a jar of bottled summer sweetness?