Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, renowned for its commitment to luxury and excellence, is taking its longstanding environmental partnership with the Goodwood Estate to new heights.
By embarking on various initiatives that benefit wildlife, biodiversity, and the local community, the luxury car manufacturer aims to make a positive and lasting impact.
A Sustainable Partnership for Wildlife Conservation
Located on a sprawling 12,000-acre property, the Goodwood Estate has been the ancestral home of the Dukes of Richmond since 1697. With over 4,900 acres of lush forestry and one of the largest lowland organic farms in the UK, the Estate implements traditional land management practices to create diverse habitats that support local wildlife.
Since 2001, Rolls-Royce has enjoyed a close working relationship with the Estate. In fact, the Goodwood Estate was chosen as the ideal location for the marque’s global headquarters and Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence. Spanning approximately 42 acres, the Rolls-Royce site has sustainability ingrained in its foundation.
It actively champions wildlife and biodiversity conservation through various projects, including the recently rejuvenated Wildlife Garden and the esteemed Rolls-Royce Apiary, home to a thriving colony of 250,000 European honeybees. These initiatives form an integral part of the proposed Strategic Wildlife Corridor, designed to preserve and protect the region’s natural ecosystem.
Local Residents and Wildlife Benefit from Tree Planting Effort
During the duration of the partnership, more than 20,000 trees have been meticulously planted along the boundaries of the South Downs National Park, benefiting both the local community and the indigenous wildlife. The tree planting effort focused on predominantly native broadleaf species, with the inclusion of some more unique specimens such as disease-resistant elms, propagated from cuttings gathered on the Estate. Emphasizing environmental responsibility, the planting scheme consciously avoided the use of single-use plastic tree guards, ensuring minimal waste.
Adhering to time-honoured practices, volunteers from Rolls-Royce diligently laid a section of native-species hedgerow within the Wildlife Garden. Under the guidance of the Wildlife Corridor Project Officer from Chichester District Council, this undertaking will not only connect the Estate to other vital habitats but also provide a sanctuary for resident wildlife and a crucial source of nourishment for creatures traversing along the wildlife corridor.
Joint Efforts for a Sustainable Landscape
Building on this successful partnership, Rolls-Royce and the Goodwood Estate have embarked on a new phase of collaboration, focused on sustainability, biodiversity preservation, and nature-based solutions. One notable project entails a joint study conducted alongside a local chiropterologist, examining the flight patterns of the rare and elusive Barbastelle bats residing on the Estate.
By monitoring the bats’ movements between their roosts and their feeding grounds near Chichester Harbour to the south, the study has already influenced the Chichester District Council’s decision to include a portion of the Rolls-Royce site within its proposed Strategic Wildlife Corridor. This ongoing study is set to continue throughout 2023.
Furthermore, Rolls-Royce has extended its support to the Estate’s investment in a custom-built, mechanised wildflower seed harvester, slated to be operational this year. This innovative harvester will simplify and optimize the gathering of seeds from a wider variety of species, which will then be strategically planted across the Estate’s grasslands and around the Rolls-Royce site, fostering biodiversity and enhancing the natural landscape.
“We are proud to continue our work with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to create a lasting legacy of biodiversity in this beautiful and biodynamically diverse corner of West Sussex. Our joint approach creates a bountiful environment for all wildlife with a special focus on nurturing and protecting rare and threatened species. Additionally, we create an environment for local people and the millions of visitors to the Estate to enjoy for many generations to come.” – Lloyd McNeill, Estate Managing Director, The Goodwood Group
The longstanding partnership between Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and the Goodwood Estate continues to prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability. Through their joint efforts, the Estate’s wildlife, biodiversity, and local community have greatly benefited. The Home of Rolls-Royce, built with sustainability in mind, has become a model for wildlife and biodiversity conservation.
The extended collaboration now focuses on new projects, including a study on the flight patterns of rare Barbastelle bats and supporting the Estate’s investment in a wildflower seed harvester. These initiatives demonstrate a commitment to preserving and enhancing biodiversity through nature-based solutions. The partnership between Rolls-Royce and the Goodwood Estate sets an inspiring example for other organizations to follow in their pursuit of environmental sustainability and community well-being.