Bowood is a 4,000 acre country estate, set in the heart of Wiltshire. The Estate has been home to the Lansdowne family since 1754 and the current custodian, the 9th Marquis of Lansdowne is passionate about sustainability. In the last 50 years alone, Bowood has planted over 1.2 million trees. We estimate that Bowood’s woodlands offset more than 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
Bowood’s sustainability policy is to continually reduce the environmental impact of all of our activities. We are committed to stewardship of the Estate’s heritage assets and landscape, while contributing to the fight against climate change. The Estate comprises Bowood House & Gardens, a Hotel, Spa, and Golf Resort, and the wider Estate enterprises. As a business, our key sustainability objectives are:
By 2022, to operate comprehensive recycling facilities in all business areas
By 2023, to substantively phase out single-use plastics in all business areas
By 2024, to purchase 50% of services & consumable supplies from within 50 miles
By 2025, to generate renewable energy on the Estate
By 2030, to reduce direct fossil fuel (oil, gas, and fuel) consumption by 50%
We are constantly working on a wide range of projects in order to achieve these objectives. Examples of some initiatives already in place:
A 500kw biomass boiler provides heating and hot water throughout the Resort. All woodchip is sustainably supplied from within the Bowood Estate.
The primary water supply for the PGA Golf Course irrigation system is the Estate’s private water supply. This reduces reliance on and use of treated mains water.
Management of the 200-acre PGA Golf Course has evolved since its opening in 1992 to now incorporate c.60 acres of wildflower grassland. These areas encourage a diversity of flowers and accompanying wildlife, directly alongside c.30,000 rounds of golf played each year.
Food & Flowers
The historic Walled gardens at Bowood House supply a wide range of seasonal vegetables and fruit to the Hotel’s Shelburne Restaurant. Floral displays in the Hotel are created using flowers cut directly from the Walled Gardens, with just a small fraction (less than 10%) of supplies bought in.
There are four rapid electric vehicle charging points on site. Based on use, these charging points have saved over 7,000kg of CO2 versus petrol journeys in the last year alone.
We have reduced single-use plastic in hotel bedrooms by over 90%. Our ambition is to remove all single-use plastic from hotel bedrooms by 2023. In addition, we have reduced paper products within bedrooms, by launching a guest digital APP, filled with key information about the Resort.
In 2022 we launched a visitor digital APP, filled with key information about the House & Gardens, with a view to reducing reliance on paper maps and information leaflets.
From 2022, season ticket membership cards are printed on 100% recycled paper, ready to recycle again at the end of the season. Our ambition is to move entirely to digital member processes in the near future.
The primary water supply for Bowood House, the Gardens, and Grounds is the Estate’s private water supply. This reduced reliance on and use of treated mains water.
By improving the facilities available to staff and visitors, we have considerably reduced non-recyclable waste year-on-year. Our ambition is to remove all single-use plastics sold to visitors by mid-2023.
We are actively reviewing opportunities to replace the heating system servicing the 50,000 sq ft Bowood house with a modern alternative, based on renewable energy.
Bowood plants thousands of trees every year, totalling in excess of 1.2 million during the last 50 years. We estimate that Bowood’s woodlands offset more than 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. All trees planted at Bowood are carefully sourced from sustainable suppliers and then managed throughout their lifetime, through weed and vermin control, pruning, and thinning.
The majority of felled trees are either sold as sustainable timber (for example, for use in construction), utilised to repair properties on the Estate, or used as woodchip for our 500kw biomass boiler. The biomass boiler at Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort.
We manage habitats on a landscape scale, including a 300-acre conservation area and wildlife sanctuary in Great Wood, and a wetland bird habitat surrounding the 35-acre Bowood Lake. We have reviewed and significantly reduced mowed areas within the Park by approximately 20% thereby encouraging a greater diversity of flowers and wildlife.
We preserve a unique collection of 700 trees within the arboretum, including a number of incredibly rare or critically endangered species.
The Estate’s farmland contains c.700 acres of permanent pasture, predominantly grazed by sheep. Not only is this grassland low or zero input, but the sheep provide a sustainable and effective way of managing the landscape, limiting the need for fossil-fuel-burning machinery. There are 500 acres of this grassland managed under Countryside Stewardship, to formalise these existing sustainable practices.
The Estate continues to support vital community facilities, including providing the land for the Derry Hill Village Hall, Football Ground, and Scouts Hut.
The Estate maintains 13 miles of footpath, bridleway, and permissive paths, providing important recreation opportunities for the community.
We believe in providing a working environment where everyone can give their best. We do this through encouraging mutual trust, collaboration, respect, and encouraging everyone to accept the concept of individual responsibility. We want our team members to be proud of working for Bowood and we in turn want to be proud of our team.
Two-thirds of the Estate’s workforce live within five miles of their workplace, reflecting Bowood’s position as a local employer of choice.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
We strive to promote a working environment that values employees as individuals, an environment that encourages diversity and inclusion, and appreciates the business benefits these principles bring. We are committed to allowing our teams to reach maximum potential by providing opportunities to learn and develop.
You can read our full Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy here.