Hever Castle is silver rated for green tourism and we are committed to becoming more environmentally friendly and efficient.
Our biomass woodchip-fuelled 995kw boiler has reduced carbon emissions and we are investigating the possibility of installing a solar photovoltaic system as part of our green tourism efforts.
The sewage system has been renovated and there is now a very successful ecologically sound sewage treatment system. This consists of various wetland beds and sewage lagoons, including 20,000 plants.
More green tourism initiatives have seen recycling bins put in all areas and light bulbs replaced with energy efficient alternatives.
The catering team are using more recyclable materials and are looking at phasing out single use plastic bottles.
Tap water is available for visitors to refill their bottles both in the restaurants and around the estate. Used coffee is also recycled as compost.
Green tourism also extends to our food offering. Local produce is sourced where possible when creating menus and local food and drink and gifts are sold in the Hever Shop.
From 1 June visitors to the Hever Shop started being charged 5p for a plastic bag or they can opt for a specially designed bag for life for £2.95. We have seen a 90% reduction in plastic bags and predict we will use 20,000 less bags a year as a result of this green tourism initiative.
As part of a phased plan to replace all diesel Estate vehicles with environmentally friendly alternatives, an electric van is now in place for the maintenance team and the hospitality team have a plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
Every year we plant 50-100 Christmas trees so in about 10 years we will be sustainable.
Work has been completed with the Kent Wildlife Trust to undertake ‘wildflower meadow renovation’ work.