Natural heritage and biodiversity

At Chatsworth we will continue to preserve our natural heritage whilst supporting wildlife, as we have for generations.

Currently one of the most important aspects of this work is our Parkland Management Plan. Working together with Natural England, English Heritage, the Peak District National Park Authority and heritage consultants, Historic Landscape Management, a comprehensive survey of the park and everything within it was undertaken in 2013 as well as a plan developed and set out, identifying all the works needed to maintain and enhance its beauty.

We have now agreed the most pressing action which we aim to complete over the coming two year (2014 – 16) and a licence for tree work has been approved by the Forestry Commission.

The survey revealed the spectacular biodiversity value of the Chatsworth Parkland, finding it to contain:

  • over 605 veteran trees supporting a range of protected fungi, lichen and invertebrate species
  • 250 species of fungi
  • 44 national scare invertebrates
  • at least six species of bat

The wider estate includes over 4600 acres which have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s). Ranging from broadleaved mixed and yew woodland to calcareous grasslands we continue to work with Natural England to monitor their condition and management.

The estate also includes over 3700 acres of woodland, including over 1300 acres of semi natural or ancient woodland. In total these woodlands have been calculated to sequester over 15,000 tonnes of carbon a year (more than 5 times our annual property carbon emissions). Since 2009 the Chatsworth forestry team have worked with the Forestry Commission and the RSPB to plant a further 160 acres of woodlands, with the aim of helping to reverse the decline of woodland birds across the East Midlands.