May 25, 2024

The first full year of operation for a highly-specialized Wild Seed Harvester purchased with the support of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars on West Sussex’s historic Goodwood Estate has been completed.

  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Goodwood Estate, and the new Wild Seed Harvester reflect on its first-season performance.
  • Rolls-Royce supported the purchase of a highly specialized machine by 2022 as part of a long-standing environmental partnership between the Duke of Richmond’s historic Estate and Rolls-Royce.
  • The seeds collected in 2023 are expected to support grassland and biodiversity across the Estate. This will help maintain a healthy ecosystem.
  • Rolls-Royce’s extensive conservation efforts within the Goodwood habitat network and Strategic Wildlife Corridor are based on partnership.

“We have enjoyed a long-lasting and highly productive partnership with Goodwood Estate. In 2022 we will continue to support the Goodwood Estate with an array of exciting projects including the purchase the Wild Seed Harvester. It’s amazing to see how much difference it has already made to the important work of maintaining and enhancing our local wildflower population, which is so vital to the appearance and diversity of this beautiful place that we call home.”

Andrew Ball, Head, Corporate Relations & Heritage at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The first full season for a highly-specialized Wild Seed Harvester purchased with the support of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has been completed on the historic Goodwood Estate, West Sussex. The purchase was made in 2022 as part of a partnership extension that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has had with its neighbor for more than 20 years.

The harvester is designed and made entirely in Britain. It is pulled across pastureland by a small tractor (or ATV) and gently brushes the seeds of grasses and wildflowers onto a hopper. The 1.2m wide machine, depending on the density of swards, can harvest up to eight acres (3.2ha) per day.

The Wild Seed Harvester collected seeds from various locations at the Goodwood Estate in May, June, and August. Goodwood is one of the UK’s foremost champions for organic and sustainable farming practices. The wildflower seeds can be dried and used to increase biodiversity on the Estate, both in the wild grassland and the cultivated areas. This autumn, for example, it will be broadcast-sown into an existing meadow with the goal of increasing the current population of 49 plant species to 100 or even more.

The Goodwood Estate is the first to use this type of large-scale harvesting. Previously, wildflower seeds were collected by hand and only for a few species. The Wild Seed Harvester is more efficient and allows the Gardens Team to focus on other important nature-based projects.

Wildflowers play a vital role in preserving biodiversity and maintaining healthy ecosystems. Wildflowers are a constant source of food throughout the year for bees and butterflies. Their complex root systems improve soil stability and prevent erosion while improving water quality by reducing nutrient runoff.

The Home of Rolls-Royce is located on a 42-acre (17-hectare) site in the southwest corner of Goodwood Estate. Since 2003, Rolls-Royce has been supporting numerous sustainability projects that protect and enhance the biodiversity of the surrounding area. The marque has maintained its own Wildlife Garden, the celebrated Goodwood Apiary, and planted over 20,000 trees in the Wildlife Corridor between Halnaker Village and Lavant Village as part of South Downs National Park. Rolls-Royce is committed to maintaining the natural beauty of its beautiful countryside home.

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