Head of Forestry, Darren Norris, is overseeing Goodwood's woodland project which aims to plant 78,000 trees in one of the largest tree planting schemes in the south of England. Since the beginning of 2019, Darren and his team have started planting 40 hectares of new woodland to add to the Goodwood Estate’s existing 727 hectares of forestry.
“Forestry management is important to maintain the forests and parkland for the future. We are just custodians doing our bit for future generations to enjoy, so looking after the trees is a vital part of the landscape for generations to come,” Darren explained. “The woodland project is essential to stop the decline of our wooded areas as they are vitally needed to produce oxygen, maintain wildlife habitats and reduce pollution.”
Goodwood’s woodland planting scheme includes a range of softwood trees including western red cedar and Douglas-Fir, which are all in short supply in the UK and can be used for gate posts and cladding on the estate. The top of the fir trees are used for wood chippings to fuel the biomass boiler, which powers Goodwood’s 10 bedroom sporting lodge, Hound Lodge, and Goodwood's member clubhouse, The Kennels. In addition to the softwood trees being planted, traditional English trees such as oak, sweet chestnut, hawthorn, hazel, beech and field maple are also being planted across the 12,000 acre estate to provide a protective canopy for the wildlife.
Darren and his team work on a 100-year cycle, which is the timescale for a plantation to grow from a seed to the final crop of mature trees. Goodwood’s forestry programme will ensure there is always a balance between newly planted trees, those ready for harvesting and the final crop trees which, once harvested, make way for the next generation.
“Every delegate that comes to Goodwood can be proud they will be contributing to positive eco-action through the planting of native species to preserve the UK’s environment and biodiversity,” he added.
Book your meeting or event with Goodwood in September, October or November and for every delegate that attends, a tree will be planted on the West Sussex country estate.