Rolls-Royce Extends Sustainability Partnership with Goodwood Estate

“The Goodwood Estate is one of the natural jewels of the south of England and was a significant factor in our decision to select this location for the new Home of Rolls-Royce over 20 years ago. From those very first days we have enjoyed a warm, close and mutually beneficial relationship with the Estate, in which our joint approach to the environment and sustainability has always been of central importance. I’m delighted to see this partnership extended further, as we both play our parts in nurturing the unique wildlife, habitats and landscapes of this exceptional corner of the world.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is extending its longstanding environmental partnership with the Goodwood Estate, with projects designed to benefit wildlife, biodiversity and the local community.

The Estate, home to the Dukes of Richmond since 1697, extends to 12,000 acres. With over 4,900 acres of forestry and one of the largest lowland organic farms in the UK, it operates traditional land management practices that support diverse habitats for local wildlife.

Rolls-Royce has worked closely with the Estate since it was chosen as the location for the marque’s global headquarters and Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence in 2001. The Rolls-Royce site currently occupies some 42 acres in the south of the Estate, with the company recently announcing proposals to expand on neighbouring land to the east. Built with sustainability in mind from the beginning, the Home of Rolls-Royce is itself a pioneering champion of wildlife and biodiversity conservation, through projects including its recently rejuvenated Wildlife Garden, which forms part of the proposed Strategic Wildlife Corridor, and the celebrated Rolls-Royce Apiary with its colony of 250,000 European honeybees.

Since the partnership began, more than 20,000 trees have been planted along the South Downs National Park boundary, benefiting both wildlife and the local community. A variety of mainly native broadleaf species were planted, along with some more unusual species, including disease-resistant elms, planted from cuttings collected on the Estate. In order to minimise waste, no single-use plastic tree guards were used in the planting scheme.

Following traditional methods, volunteers from Rolls-Royce have laid a stretch of native-species hedgerow at the Wildlife Garden, under the guidance of Chichester District Council’s Wildlife Corridor Project Officer. This will help to link the Estate with other important habitats, as well as providing a safe haven for the resident wildlife and a valuable source of nourishment for those creatures travelling along the wildlife corridor.

The new, extended collaboration with the Goodwood Estate focuses on continuing this legacy of sustainability and preserving and enhancing biodiversity through nature-based solutions.

Specific projects include a joint study together with a local chiropterologist into the flight patterns of the rare and elusive Barbastelle bats that live on the Estate. Monitoring the bats’ movements between their roosts and their feeding grounds around Chichester Harbour to the south has already led Chichester District Council to adjust the route of its proposed Strategic Wildlife Corridor, which now includes part of the Rolls-Royce site. The study will run throughout 2023.

Rolls-Royce has also supported the Estate’s investment in a custom-built, mechanised wildflower seed harvester, which will enter service this year. This special harvester will enable seeds from a wider variety of species to be gathered easily and efficiently, before they are subsequently planted on the Estate’s grasslands and around the Rolls-Royce site.

“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



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