Chemical-free Pest Control
Windsor Great Park includes thousands of acres of sweeping parkland, award-winning gardens and ancient woodlands. We recently embarked on a new initiative to reduce the use of herbicides and insecticides across these varied habitats, potentially moving to all natural control measures.
We’re trialling alternative methods to naturally control pests and weeds at Windsor, cutting chemical use and adding value for the environment, wildlife and visitors.
By minimising the use of chemicals, we will create an even better environment for bees, bugs, butterflies, birds and other wildlife, which can be affected by the use of pesticides. At the same time, we’ll enhance the area for visitors and people working on the estate, creating a healthier, natural landscape.
We will also strengthen our reputation for combining progressive commercial management with careful stewardship. In addition, there may be financial savings over time, as we move away from buying pesticides and switch to natural control methods.
Many gardeners may be familiar with natural control methods, such as encouraging ladybird populations to limit aphids or planting bird-friendly plants to attract species that eat slugs. On a vast estate like Windsor, it’s a major undertaking to shift to natural control methods and we need to make sure that we get it right, to protect this historic landscape and valuable natural resource.
During the first phase of our four-year project to trial alternative methods of pest control, we will identify which weeds and pests present the biggest challenges at Windsor. We will then explore and test a range of potential natural control methods, such as changing mowing regimes and using pheromone traps to control horse chestnut leaf miner on the Long Walk.
We will also invest in equipment and team training, and share our learnings with other organisations and land owners. There may be interesting opportunities to engage with visitors and the local community too. We look forward to reporting on progress.