Our Arborist and Wildlife teams maintain the section of River Whitewater that runs through our estate. Their work includes lifting trees, clearing banks, and creating traditional narrows to adjust the river's width and depth. These efforts increase the flow and naturally desilt the gravel spawning beds for the resident brown trout. Additionally, we trap non-native crayfish that damage the riverbanks and eat fish eggs, and we annually remove Himalayan balsam across the estate.

We use Barsha pumps to draw water from the river for our animal troughs in the farther reaches of the farm. These zero-energy pumps rely on the river's flow and require no vehicles, ensuring a sustainable water supply for our livestock. Additionally, we collect rainwater across the estate to irrigate our market garden, glasshouses, and polytunnels.

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We have implemented a variety of ecological initiatives that encourage a diversity of flora and fauna to thrive across our estate. These include:

  • An assortment of bird boxes – some handcrafted using recycled materials from the estate.
  • Log piles constructed from old or fallen trees to create habitats for predatory insects and enable fungi to decompose the woody fibres and recycle the nutrients back into the ecosystem, helping to develop mycelium networks.
  • Meadow areas for pollinating insects.
  • Wildflower strips comprising a mix of native plant species.
  • Hibernacula designed for hibernating reptiles and microorganisms consisting of partially buried logs and deadwood beneath a layer of grass, soil, or wildflowers.
  • Construction of log pyramids and dead hedges for endangered stag beetles.
  • Planting of native hedging to create wildlife corridors.
  • Avoiding strimming and mowing verges between fields and tracks in order to provide sanctuary for microorganisms and cover for a range of wildlife.
  • We have developed a new pond for aquatic, bird and insect life which allows a safe and uninterrupted life for nature. The ground nesting skylarks and lapwings are testament to the tranquillity, We have also created two smaller ponds across the estate as part of the wildlife enrichment plan focused on aquatic and amphibian life.

We conduct annual surveys across the estate to identify changes to our ecology and areas where we can continue to improve. Our annual surveys cover birds, bats, moths, butterflies and the wildflower strips across the estate. Recent survey results have identified the natural return of hares and grey partridges to the estate.


Our dedicated team of arborists work across the farm and wider estate, with a particular focus on maintaining and expanding the Heckfield Arboretum. In 2019, our arborists established the world’s first biodynamically certified tree nursery, propagating seeds from the best trees in the arboretum according to biodynamic principles. Since then, we have grown over 1,800 trees from the original arboretum and planted more than 600 across the estate.

Our team collaborates with other arboretums, botanic gardens and estates both nationally and internationally, sharing knowledge, experiences, trees, and seeds. While we honour the legacy of the original house and estate owners, we also embrace modern technology in arboriculture. A recent acquisition of a Geo Injector allows us to aerate larger specimen trees that have become compacted over the centuries. This technology, developed after the great storm of 1980 that uprooted the great oak in Kew Gardens, has been invaluable in preserving the original arboretum.

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