The Windsor Estate

Working to protect a unique landscape

The Windsor Estate has diverse landscapes spanning 15,800 acres.

We are conscious of the careful balance we must strike in meeting the preservation needs of this important natural environment and meeting the expectations of our six million annual visitors.

The Estate is home to popular visitor attractions including The Savill Garden, Virginia Water and The Long Walk, and in the year ahead we will begin the renovation of the Virginia Water Pavilion and the construction of a new premium children’s play area adjacent to the Savill Garden.

As stewards of this working estate, we also have a responsibility to the users and habitats of this unique natural asset, which together form an incredibly complex ecosystem supporting a wealth of biodiversity. It is estimated that the ecosystem of the Windsor Estate provides services to our customers and surrounding areas to a value of £21 million a year. You can read more about the value of the Estate’s ecosystem services here.

Our partners play a key role in helping us to achieve this balance and to preserve Windsor’s ecosystems and natural environment, and supporting us to safeguard them for the enjoyment and advantage of future generations. One such partnership is our long-standing relationship with our conservation advisor, Natural England, who this year confirmed 100% of our Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) at Windsor are now in a ‘favourable’ condition.

The award of Natural England’s highest rating is the result of many years of work ensuring we protect our ancient and veteran trees, which is the largest collection in Europe, and carefully protect our diverse ecosystems and habitats which are home for rare insects and fungi. Natural England also recognised our proactivity in enabling research and trials of different habitat management techniques on the estate.

Through another partnership, with the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), we are teaching young people about the natural world to ensure that wildlife conservation remains a priority for future generations. Our Windsor Great Park Environmental centre, which we operate together with BBOWT, has opened its doors to 2,500 people during the year. This has included parent and toddler groups; primary school visits; after school wildlife clubs; as well as family events in half-terms and school holidays.

Our Annual Report 2018/19

Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. Established in 2006, its work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public. Andrew Smith is Natural England's Manager for the Thames area.

“I am really pleased that the hard work put into the Estate over the years, has come to fruition, and that all the SSSIs on The Windsor Estate, including Windsor Forest and The Great Park, have now achieved ‘Favourable Condition’ status. This shows the value of commitment and great partnership working. We look forward to continued work with The Crown Estate to maintain, enhance and secure habitats for the future benefit of Windsor’s incredible ancient and veteran trees, and the wildlife that depend on them.”

Visit Natural England

The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) is one of 46 Wildlife Trusts working across the UK. Since 1959 it has worked with local people to make Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire rich in wildlife and protect special places for generations to come. Sophie Axford is the Environmental Education Officer (Windsor Great Park).

“The centre has enjoyed another successful year, engaging visitors with nature and wildlife in the Great Park. Children and families take part in a wide range of outdoor activities based on conservation and the special importance of the ancient and veteran trees. These activities aim to inspire and energise future generations to take an interest in, and care for, the natural world”.


John Deakin is the Chief Forester for The Crown Estate and has worked with us for nine years overseeing the management of The Crown Estate’s trees and woodlands in England and Wales, including the internationally important habitats and ancient trees on the Windsor Estate.

“We are deeply proud of the work we do to protect and enhance The Windsor Estate, which is a successful working estate and much-loved visitor destination. It is also home to one of the UK’s most important assemblages of ancient trees, ancient woodland and heathland habitat, and their protection and stewardship will always be at the heart of what we do.”

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