At the pinnacle of this strategy is to become the UK’s first estate to demonstrate carbon-positive land management.
As part of this ground-breaking initiative, we also want to lead the way for other estates to protect, utilise and share the benefits of huge areas of British countryside.
"Almost a third of the UK’s land is managed by estates like ours and we have a huge social, environmental and economic responsibility to deliver a clear vision for its future role in our society," said our Estate Director, Roy Cox.
"In many cases it seems like the idea of land being at the heart of the local economy, climate and health has been forgotten. Landed Estates, caring for their land responsibly, hold the unique key to reversing this,” he added.
Blenheim Estate’s Land Strategy covers five main areas; connecting communities with a network of paths and cycle routes to promote green travel, sharing the health and wellbeing benefits of land with local communities, valuing natural capital to create new income streams, demonstrating the role of carbon-positive land management in tackling climate change, and forming partnerships with artisans and producers to start re-delivering economic gain to the local area.
“By linking the natural resources of our land with the health service, our woodlands, green spaces and fresh air can begin to be prescribed as the most natural of health solutions,” said Roy.
“With our environment at the heart of our land, and agricultural practices responsible for up to 25% of all carbon emissions, we will join forces with Government and other landed estates to lead in the concept of ‘natural capital’.
“This is a new model of valuing our natural capital; an innovative way to attribute the benefits of good air, water, soil, woodland, green spaces and biodiversity to the total ecosystem, and so to generate new income streams and promote the best long-term decisions,” he added.
The Estate will partner with local producers and artisans to create a range of products and services under the Blenheim brand which will help to create new skills, jobs and economic benefits locally.
As part of the strategy’s long-term goals, Blenheim is also creating new communities and developments on its existing land, which use natural, locally-sourced building materials and incorporate a mix of accommodation including truly affordable homes.
“In holding land we have a responsibility to hand this on to future generations in a better condition than we found it. We can only achieve this by recognising the vital role it plays in things we all share, but doing so in a way local communities can benefit from and we can all be proud of,” he added.
Find out more detail about each of the five strands here.