Behind every seed sown and flower blooming within The Alnwick Garden, there exists an intricate eco-system that we continuously strive to protect and preserve. We host a total of 67 acres of land that not only provides a spectacle of horticulture, but also a generative garden and multiple event spaces. Operating as one the largest contemporary gardens in the UK, everything from our cultivation methods to the food we serve has been environmentally assessed to ensure that we are working with an eco-conscious approach.
A healthy environment is vital to our work and enables us to do what we do best. This means we are constantly searching for new and inventive ways to shrink our carbon footprint and pledge to continue our journey of effective sustainability. Below are just some of the ways in which we take an active role in conservation so that our garden can continue to thrive for years to come.
• Installation of electric charge points as the new development proceeds.
• Food and beverage strategy to focus on local produce. This is to reduce our Carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions related to food transport.
• Our Garden team use many traditional gardening methods that are more environmentally friendly than modern day materials and chemicals.
• Our facilities manager has worked hard on lowering our use of electricity and gas over the last two years. Low emission bulbs and water efficiency of the cascade and water features have been a key focus area. New and more efficient heating equipment has also been installed.
• The Garden sends all general waste to a recycling plant.
• The garden team compost all their vegetative waste to produce a rich compost within twelve weeks which is returned to the garden in the form of top dressings or mulches which prevent water loss and suppress weed growth. We also make leaf mould by stacking all the fallen leaves in the autumn and once rotted down we use this material as a top dressing around ericaceous plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons etc.
• We also buy in a product called Strulch which is a mulch of mineralised straw. We mulch plants that are prone to slug damage with Strulch such as Hostas and Delphiniums which alleviates the need to put down slug pellets.
• We are fortunate to have, and also encourage wildlife to the garden with nest boxes, insect hotels and habitat piles. With such a good eco system we do not have to spray for greenfly, blackfly and caterpillar, and tend not to use chemicals within The Garden.
• We use seaweed based plant food on our ornamentals and crops.
• Coppiced birch or hazel is used to support herbaceous plant material rather than plastic or metal frames. At the end of the season this material is shredded along with the herbaceous vegetation and composted down.
• We collect rain water via guttering around our polytunnels in a large water tank the contents of which we use to water the tunnels. Water is also collected from The Pavilion roof to be used as grey water for the flushing of toilets on site.