Duchy Partners with Natural England and Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust To Protect Environmental Sustainability

bio-diversity audit - bee   As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, the Duchy of Lancaster is to commission a bio-diversity audit across all of its rural holdings in England and Wales. Working in partnership with Natural England and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Duchy will undertake the nationwide audit over the next two years, developing an action plan for implementation in 2019.

Commenting on the initiative, Christopher Sparrow, Head of Rural Estates at the Duchy, said: “We have an extraordinary breadth of habitats within our rural portfolio, including woodland, water courses, grassland, arable farmland, hedgerows, field margins, moorland, foreshore and more formal landscapes. This partnership gives us the opportunity to review these habitats and accurately identify the wide variety of species that exist in these different environments.

“As a responsible landowner, the Duchy is keen to support national ecological initiatives. Natural pollinators are of particular interest and the Duchy has already successfully introduced a bee-keeping grant for tenants. This further investment is part of that ongoing commitment and we look forward to taking further action where we need to in order to protect some of these vibrant natural environments and priority species.”

The bio-diversity audit, which will be carried out by a team of independent professionals, will record and report on the quantum, location and condition of the Duchy’s natural assets. Thereafter, an action plan will be developed to prioritise assistance to any vulnerable assets so they might be protected and preserved for the future.

“Our farming tenants will be our key partners in this long-term endeavour,” added Christopher, “as the active custodians with the best local knowledge of our land. We recognise that a partnership approach is crucial in order to protect the land and ensure a sound ecological balance is maintained, now and in the future.”