Blenheim Estate announces ground-breaking project to create circular economy from its organic waste

Blenheim Estate has announced a ground-breaking partnership with visionary environmental consultants Tumblebug, on a six-month pilot project to transform all of their organic waste into a self-sustaining circular ecosystem.


The Country Estate Carbon Demonstrator Project, the first of its kind in the UK, will see Blenheim Estate adopt pioneering practices which will unlock the value of its organic waste (food, coffee, compostable packaging, card, manure, green horticultural waste, forestry waste and sheep wool) using Ecobot machines and Tumblebug’s patented biochar filter process.


Blenheim Estate will trial two Ecobots, which will transform all of its organic waste into dry, sanitised, odour-free and nutrient-rich material, which can be used directly as a soil conditioner, an additive for compost, or as an ingredient for organic fertiliser production.


The project, which is being funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is seen as a potential blueprint which the UK’s 6,000 other landed estates could adopt to achieve their own sustainability targets.


Roy Cox, Managing Director – Estates at Blenheim Palace, commented:


“To become a net zero business by 2027* means we must look at every part of our operations and reduce our emissions, and we see this project as a major step towards achieving that as well as creating circular businesses from our waste. It is vital that we work with partners like Tumblebug, and together we will find the best mix, or model, that is transferrable to other businesses who face similar challenges.”


The Blenheim/Tumblebug project will also see the creation of an organic mushroom farm on the Blenheim Estate, as well as the trialling of pyrolysis carbon removal technology, which will turn organic waste from the estate into carbon-rich biochar and heat and power and which has a myriad of uses including as a core ingredient in Tumblebug’s peat-free carbon negative growing medium; as a cover or mixer in manure management to reduce ammonia emissions and to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus run off into surface water. 


If successful, the pilot Country Estate Carbon Demonstrator Project will be further developed and adopted to accelerate Blenheim Estate’s Net Zero pledge.


Tumblebug Founder and CEO, Sylvie Verinder remarked: 


“Tumblebug was founded to demonstrate to the World that we must, and can, go beyond sustainability to create a regenerative economy. We are honoured to be given the opportunity to demonstrate our Recover - Rotate - Regenerate circular economy model at this prestigious UNESCO World Heritage site. We look forward to building the human-centred design project and delivering the carbon data evidence of its impact with the incredible Blenheim team.”




*One of Blenheim Palace and Estate’s 10-year goals is to become carbon neutral on scopes 1-3 of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol across all operations by 2027.

About Blenheim Palace

Home to the Dukes of Marlborough since 1705, Blenheim Palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Set in over 2,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland and designed by Vanbrugh in the Baroque style, it was financed by Queen Anne, on behalf of a grateful nation, following the first Duke of Marlborough’s triumph over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. Today it houses one of the most important and extensive collections in Europe, which includes portraits, furniture, sculpture and tapestries. Blenheim Palace is also the birthplace of one of Britain’s most famous leaders, Sir Winston Churchill, and it was his father who described the vista on entering the Estate from the village of Woodstock as the ‘finest view in England’.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is creating a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations. We provide targeted sectors with expertise, facilities and funding to test, demonstrate and evolve their ideas, driving UK productivity and economic growth. Join our network and communities of innovators to realise the potential of your ideas and accelerate business growth. Innovate UK: inspiring business innovation.

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