Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrated the completion of its Wildlife Garden update project at Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood home with a grand reopening ceremony.
“Today marks the successful conclusion of a project very dear to the hearts of all at the home of Rolls-Royce. The Animal Garden, created during the development of the site almost 20 years ago, has always been one one of our most popular initiatives, widely used by local school children, as well as our own employees. Now enhanced with a range of new features, it offers even more opportunities to spend time outdoors in nature, with all the physical and mental health benefits it brings.
André BouleCorporate Relations Manager, Rolls-Royce motor cars
Rolls-Royce motor cars celebrated the completion of its project to update the Animal Garden at the Maison des Rolls Royce in Goodwood during a grand reopening ceremony.
Occupying a small, secluded area just inside the main gates, the Wildlife Garden is home to a wide variety of plants, insects, birds and animals native to southern England.
The rejuvenation, carried out in partnership with Chichester District Council and the South Downs National Park Trustreflects the changes in conservation thinking and practice since the Wildlife Garden was established nearly 20 years ago, as part of the original landscaping of the 42-acre Goodwood site.
One of the central themes of the project is “rewilding”, recognized by conservationists and organizations, including the The United Nations, as an essential tool to preserve functioning ecosystems and reduce biodiversity loss. Rewilding involves returning land to its former uncultivated state, connecting habitats by creating “wildlife corridors” and evolving into a more natural ecosystem with reduced human intervention and management.
The Wildlife Garden is now one of 60 sites spread across seven corridors that together form the Strategic Wildlife Corridor. This pioneering rewilding initiative links the South Downs National Park to the ports of Chichester and Pagham, both of which have numerous conservation designations including Local Nature Reserve (LNR), Special Protected Area (SPA) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Officially approved by Chichester District Council in 2021, this is the first time wildlife corridors have been strategically included in planning policies across the UK.
As part of the Strategic Wildlife Corridor, the Wildlife Garden will play an important role in protecting biodiversity, particularly bees, bumblebees, butterflies and other pollinators, by reconnecting habitat areas previously fragmented by the human activity.
The updated garden also incorporates elements of the winning design from the Wildlife Garden competition held in 2021, in which children aged 5 to 11 were invited to submit ideas for new features that would benefit both to wildlife and humans.
Eight-year-old Iris set up Tiggy Town, to help support the UK’s wild hedgehog population, which is in critical decline. Its individual hedgehog houses, each with its own address, were lovingly designed by the apprentices of the Inner Surface Center. The department also produced beautiful bespoke nesting boxes for birds, bats, dormice and solitary bees and a new sign at the entrance.
Another of Iris’ main design features, the “hedgehog highways” in the fences, are formed from recycled clay pipes that have been cut in half to form an arch under which the hedgehogs can pass. The centerpiece of the garden is a new pond, shallow enough for the hedgehogs to safely drink and bathe in, with a walkway for them to exit when they get tired.
Some welcome additions to the project also included a new seating area created using recycled wooden pallets, a newly rebuilt front door and the creation of a safe bark path through the garden.
André Boule said: “This project is so positive, involving the imagination and creativity of children, a collaboration between Rolls-Royce and our local community, a real generosity of spirit and a great sense of shared enterprise and hard work. team – all in the name of supporting our fantastic local wildlife. We are especially excited to be part of larger projects of rewilding and creating wildlife corridors that support biodiversity far beyond our own borders. This update will ensure that the Wildlife Garden remains a truly valuable resource for people and nature for many years to come.