Almost a quarter (24%) of young millionaires have made changes to their land to make it more sustainable and are planning rewilding and other land management projects over the next 12 months.
With numerous young celebrities embracing rewilding and sustainable farming techniques, ecological land management is becoming ‘de rigueur’ for wealthy young British landowners, according to a new study from wealth manager and private bank, Coutts.
Landowners aged between 18 and 44 are far more likely to consider rewilding or other sustainable land choices than their older counterparts, suggesting the trend towards sustainable land ownership will continue as younger people take on more of Britain’s farmland, country estates and significant property.
Some of the top ways that Coutts clients are making a difference include:
- Hedgelaying: The Society of Hedgelayers says there has been huge interest in laying traditional hedges and those with training are struggling to keep up with demand
- Creating wildflower meadows: When even Oxbridge colleges are turning their famous grass over to meadow, you know you’ve caught the zeitgeist
- Digging ponds: A treasure trove for wildlife, ponds also store carbon.
While the Government’s funding for ‘landscape recovery’ will help encourage many of Britain’s large landowners to rewild landscapes, embracing sustainability is rapidly becoming the new lifestyle choice for many. The latest UN Climate Change Report goes as far as to say that eco-living needs to be seen as aspirational to help drive behavioural change. The good news is you don’t need a large estate or a significant amount of land to contribute to improved diversity and support for endangered species – even the smallest and more unlikely outdoor spaces can be used to support sustainability
Alison Robb, Sustainability Director, Coutts, said: “We wanted to support bees and grow our own plants, herbs, fruit and vegetables. Although we had relatively little space, our rooftop garden at our headquarters on the Strand is an example of utilising what you have to make a small difference. We actively encourage people to use our tips to get started with making the most of the green space around them.
“Every time we grow a plant, mulch our soil, or grow our own food, we are making a direct, practical difference in combatting climate change – no matter how small the space is.”
Coutts’ chef, Peter Fiori, explains how even the smallest space in the middle of a big city can be transformed into a green metropolis that can help to reduce food miles and address carbon emissions.
“The garden on the rooftop of Coutts’ central London office proves you don’t need acres of land to grow your own fruit and vegetables and support the environment. Through making clever use of our space, we have packed in vegetables and plants that feed our clients and reduce food miles, heightening the importance of seasonal produce.
“The herbs and flowers such as lavender, foxglove, mint and rosemary also help support the 40,000 bees that go on to produce our Three Crowns honey.”
Top tips from Peter Fiori on making the best use of your outdoor space:
- Growing plants doesn’t have to be expensive: carrot seeds start from 75p. All plants absorb carbon dioxide, so the more plants we grow, the more carbon dioxide is absorbed
- Growing plants from seed also avoids the impact of pot-grown plants, often cultivated in large nurseries and transported to individual garden centres across the country
- Do correctly water your plants and at the right time. By doing so, your plants will continue to thrive, and you’ll save water. It is more efficient to water your plants during the evening than throughout the day
- Growing your own food can significantly reduce the food miles of your meals – and therefore your carbon footprint
- Even if you only have a windowsill, you can still make use of small spaces by growing herbs. These are not only decorative and taste delicious but also help attract wildlife
- Growing veg isn’t limited to greenhouses, allotments, and extensive gardens – almost everyone can have a go at creating a kitchen garden. A small spot on your balcony can be used for tomato plants
- Make your own compost – compost bins make good use of green waste from the kitchen. Soil mulched with compost holds onto nutrients and rainwater better, meaning less need to water and feed your garden
- Give nature a helping hand by providing some man-made shelter – from a bug hotel to a hedgehog home