Environmental Practices

Here are some of the many ways Highgrove Gardens are managed sustainably:

  • The interlinked series of gardens covers 15 acres in total, all of which are managed organically.
  • Natural enemies of insect pests are introduced as part of a natural pest control programme that does not require the use of harmful chemical insecticides.
  • Wood pellet, biomass boilers are used to heat Highgrove House, the Orchard Room, stables and offices.
  • Most of the electricity is sourced from a renewable energy supplier and from solar panels on the farm barns. The electricity generated is used in Highgrove House and in the Orchard Room.
  • Ground source heat pumps are used to heat the staff cottages and greenhouses. An air source heat pump heats the gardeners’ mess and some of the workshops.
  • A specially-built reed bed sewage system, much loved by dragonflies at its treatment end, is used for all Highgrove’s waste.
  • Gutter rainwater drains into tanks and is used in the toilets in the Orchard Room. Rainwater is also used to irrigate the garden.
  • The gardeners make their own compost and leaf mould.
  • A willow ‘ramp’ is placed in water features to provide an easy exit, should wildlife inadvertently fall in.
  • 180 chickens roam areas of the Estate under a mixed range of fruit trees. Burford Browns, Marans, Light Sussex and Welsummers are the main breeds. Around 4,000 eggs are collected every year. The eggs are used in the Orchard Tea Room and sold in the Estate Shop.
  • Two fountains in the gardens provide running, open water for birds throughout the year.

    His Majesty feeding the chickens at Highgrove

    A wide range of the organic foods grown at Highgrove

    Gardeners picking berries used in Highgrove produce

    Parasitic Wasp with aphid

    Lacewing larvae eating an aphid

    Predatory mite eating a spider mite