As our historic estate heads into the last decade before its third centenary in 2031, owner Henry Warde tells us about his plans for sustainability at Squerryes, in Westerham, and across the North Downs. Read on to find out how we’re playing our part in ‘creating future joy’ for generations to come…
We’ve been pursuing sustainable practices for a very long time. The important step for us now is that we’ve set out our sustainability goals and aspirations for the next 10 years, to take us to our 300-year anniversary in 2031.
As we’ve been thinking about that, the most important thing that’s central to Squerryes is that we want to create joy, so our sustainability is about future generations, and a long-term view of the assets that we steward.
Therefore, we’re creating joy for future generations, and seeking to define how we’re doing that, and what we want to achieve over the next 10 years.
We have six strategic priorities around carbon, community, ecology, flooding, access, and terroir. Each one of those priorities creates joy for future generations, whether it’s through preserving what we already have, enhancing the aspects of things like ecology, or creating new communities and opportunities through the landscape and local produce.
It’s important for us to not just talk about what we’re going to do, but actually get on and do the projects that create joy. The most recent and current project is planting 18,000 trees in Cupids Coppice, just north of Westerham, and we’re looking forward to inviting our members to come and join us on an estate walk on 1st April, when they can plant their own tree as well.
We’re also really excited to be inviting primary school students to plant trees in late March, explaining to younger generations what we’re up to, and why we’re doing it. My real hope is that each one of these children will capture our vision for a long-term, sustainable project, which in turn will mean that their children and grandchildren will be able to be involved in the future.
In one sense, the wine industry has benefitted from climate change, as we’ve been able to grow certain varieties, such as Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, in our region. But it’s so important for a long-term family estate that we focus on sustainability and creating future joy; my hope is that my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren take it on too.
There’s a focus on our industry and its relationship with climate change, which is why it’s our responsibility at Squerryes to take those steps that will make the world a better place.
The estate is made up of seven different departments, and each of these needs to make a contribution to creating future joy. Within the estate, I’m creating the standards and strategic priorities that each department needs to follow.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if, in 10 years’ time, on our 300-year anniversary, we can look back at all these contributions and activities, and say that we’ve created joy for future generations?
To find out more about sustainability at Squerryes, visit creatingfuturejoy.com