Birds, Bugs and Books - 2023 Estate Highlights

20th December 2023

As we say farewell to another year, it’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on some of the remarkable sustainability initiatives that have taken root across the estate in 2023.

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This year was the first time that Goodwood has taken part in the RSPB Garden Bird Watch. With the help of Goodwood employees and residents, we gathered valuable insights into the bird populations from all corners of the estate. The information collected not only supports in enhancing and restoring existing habitats but also guides the creation of new spaces for birds to thrive. From traditionally laid hedges to wildflower strips and strategically placed bird boxes, we can create habitats that promote biodiversity and encourage garden birds to our estate. We had such a great response from our Goodwood residents and we hope that this is an initiative that will grow in participation for future years. In 2024, we will be able to compare the bird species and monitor populations against this year’s results.

National Insect Week saw the introduction of 12 beautifully crafted bug hotels across Motor Circuit grounds, offering a safe haven for insects. These mini sanctuaries, created by the Goodwood Grounds Team during the winter months, are made entirely from recycled materials which is a great way of using waste wood, leaves and branches cleared from the estate. All these materials cater to the diverse needs of different species, creating an inviting environment for them to thrive. The Grounds Team are eager to build more bug hotels this winter, continuing our commitment to nurturing local wildlife.


From wildlife sanctuaries to a literary haven, the Motor Circuit has embraced the Revive and Thrive ethos and repurposed two iconic red telephone boxes into a Book Swap. This initiative, driven by Goodwood staff and open to the public, encourages the exchange of pre-loved books. Whether you're a fan of automotive literature, classics, or children's books, the Book Swap invites everyone to share the joy of reading in a unique and scenic setting.


It's not just the Goodwood Estate Team who have been busy this year, our Goodwood Pigs have been hard at work transforming the landscape and creating a new pond. The project, supported by Portsmouth Water and the South Downs National Park, employs an innovative gleying technique, mimicking natural pond formation. The gleying process involved layers of straw, manure, organic material, and clay all mixed together by the pigs. After six weeks, the pond showed impressive water levels without the need for any manmade liners.

This month we celebrated National Tree Week. Goodwood employees, joined by the Forestry Team, planted an impressive 4,200 trees over two days. In collaboration with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the aim is to plant 41,000 trees by March 2024, forming a green corridor along the southern boundary of the South Downs National Park. These native trees, carefully selected for biodiversity and disease resistance, embody the commitment to creating a resilient ecosystem and providing safe passage for local wildlife.


We are also thrilled to announce Goodwood's recent partnership with Weald to Waves, a corridor spanning 100 miles from Ashdown Forest, across the South Downs to the sea. Weald to Waves empowers individuals, gardeners, landowners, and community groups to transform spaces into thriving ecosystems. From this, Goodwood has initiated a local landscape planning group with a dedicated focus on the health of the River Lavant. This initiative aims to enhance water quality, improve land management, and strengthen ties with neighbouring estates and residents.

These initiatives represent just a handful of the many achievements led by the Estate Team. As we conclude this year, we want to thank everyone who has played a role, big or small, in making these sustainability projects a success. We are busy planning for next year and look forward to continuing our sustainable journey into 2024.

  • sustainability

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