Hever Castle is committed to sustainability and becoming more environmentally friendly. The historic attraction is Silver rated for green tourism.

A green committee was set up in June 2021. Representatives from departments across the estate meet once a month to talk about ways to be more sustainable.

Green efforts across the 150 acre estate include:

Heating & Lighting

Heating for the estate is provided via a biomass boiler with the vast majority of the timber used from local woodlands. Previous to 2013 when the biomass boiler was installed, electricity or LPG or oil had been used.

Solar panels were installed on the roof of the biomass store across the road from the private entrance in January 2019. It is estimated the panels will generate around 43,200 kilowatts of electricity per year, therefore saving the estate £5,000-£6,000 annually.

Old fashioned light bulbs continue to be replaced with low energy ones.


Former owner William Waldorf Astor installed the most amazingly sophisticated sewage system in his day, which involved collecting the sewage underneath the castle and injecting it by air across to the stable blocks on the other side of the public road and from there back underneath the road and then underneath the river and one mile up to the golf course. It then flows underground across the golf course before entering the sewage lagoons which contains 20,000 plants – a mecca for insects, birds, frogs and toads.

Literally all of the sewage is gobbled up by the plants. It also does not rely on any electricity and the only maintenance required is a bit of weeding to stop the nettles taking over in places.

The sewerage treatment system was renovated in 2009 and this has proved to be particularly beneficial for wildlife, as well as proving significantly more reliable.


Hever Castle is situated in a rural location with the majority of our staff and visitors coming by car, but we do encourage people to use public transport where possible. We work closely with Hever train station, which is the nearest to Hever Castle, and provide them with signage and video content that shows visitors how to walk to and from the station.

Cycle racks are also available near to the main entrance to the Castle.

Electric vehicles are being introduced across the estate.

Reusable cups

Coffee & Water

We encourage visitors to bring their own cups and water bottles.

Visitors to Hever Castle receive a 10% discount on hot drinks when using a reusable cup in the Moat Cafe, Guthrie Pavilion Restaurant and other onsite catering outlets. Annual members will receive their usual 10% discount plus an additional 10% if they bring in their own reusable cup.

Reusable cups are also available to purchase in the Hever Shop priced from £6.00 (staff and members discounts apply).

Reusable plastic bottles are also now available to purchase in the Hever Shop and in the Restaurants with water points around the site and paper straws have replaced plastic ones in the Restaurants.

Food Waste & Composting

The Restaurants where possible use local produce.

The gardening and catering team have been working together to cut down on food waste on the estate.

Food waste from the Restaurants (cooked food, raw meat, vegetable peelings and coffee grinds) is taken daily into a composter behind the Moat Cafe and then emptied into a 400 litre food composter near the Biomass, opposite the Main Entrance. A second composter will follow at the entrance to the Pavilion Restaurant.

Grass cuttings, herbaceous prunings and annual weeds are also added to the compost mixture.

Hever Castle is the first Restaurant Associates Venues site to have its own food composter.

Hever Castle Golf & Wellbeing

At Hever Castle Golf & Wellbeing (just a mile down the road), the green efforts continue with its heating and hot water also run from the biomass system.

The team have vastly reduced its use of pesticides, recycle all cardboard and glass used in service, plastic tees have been removed, building products selected and they use recycled composite decking.

Rob Peers and his greenkeeping team have also undertaken careful conservation of the woodland areas surrounding the golf holes, planted wild-flowers areas and created a wildlife friendly pond.

A bug house, Hedgehog burrow and other wildlife friendly features have also been added to the new walk through to the Castle.

Hever Shop


Hever Shop sells a variety of food and drink and gifts from Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The retail team are continually looking to work with more local companies and those with a sustainable ethos. The two main card companies we work with now send their greeting cards plastic free.

From 2018 visitors to the Hever Shop were given the option to have a free paper bag or pay 10p for a plastic bag or £4.50 for our stainable reusable bag.

Paper & Signage

In a bid to try and reduce our Carbon Footprint, we are changing some of our print processes and trying to avoid laminating, where possible.

We are now printing on products that are recyclable and carbon offsetting the print that we do to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions produced. We are doing this by supporting projects that reduce, avoid, or remove emissions elsewhere, like the Woodland Trust, through systems set up by our print suppliers.

Signs that were previously printed and laminated inhouse are being printed on the weatherproof material that is fully recyclable.

We are also looking to phase out Foamex and replace this with a material which is recyclable. We will be testing this during our first events of the season.

We are aiming to reduce our print quantities of visitor maps in 2024 and will be printing on paper that has been recycled. We will be communicating the message to visitors to download a map before their visit and there will be QR codes in the grounds that link to a page on the website where all maps will be saved.

All posters for use outdoors are now being printed externally on a weatherproof material that is fully recyclable.

Roadside banners are now being printed on materials that are more sustainable and don’t contain PVC.

Leaflets and brochures are now being printed on materials that are more sustainable and recyclable. We are also reducing our print quantities where possible and encouraging traffic to the website and using PDFs. We are also looking to change our print materials for some stationary, increase our carbon offsetting.

Across the estate there is an emphasis on reduction of paper and in the offices recycled paper is used and recycled after use.

Contracts for weddings and corporate events are no longer sent in the post but can be signed digitally.