Duchy Stewardship is a comprehensive series of objectives which illustrate the Duchy’s commitment to best practice in the sustainable management of its estates. 65 targets were set for the period 2009 to 2011. These will be reviewed for the period 2012 to 2014. An intranet site has been created to host Duchy Stewardship enabling progress on targets to be continually updated. The Stewardship intranet also acts as a portal to share information throughout the Duchy.
Under the objective to establish better communication with tenants a target was set to produce a handbook for all new residential and commercial tenants in order to clearly explain the duties of the landlord and expectations of the tenant as well as providing key contacts and information. A template handbook was created and from January 2011 has been used for new workshop and residential tenants.
Under the objective to establish better communication with the public and share knowledge a target was set to support those looking to work in the rural sector through opportunities of work experience. In 2011 the Hereford office took three work experience students. The Liskeard office took two work experience students and the Bath office took three students.
Under the objective to increase the opportunities for protecting and enhancing the landscape and biodiversity a target is for a proportion of the Duchy’s gross estate income to be used as an Amenity Budget for discretionary works. In 2011 projects included works to the trees and clearance of scrub at the base of Ham Hill, Stoke Sub Hamdon to improve the vista from the footpath and the amenity value of the area. 195 trees have been supplied for planting on farmland at Stud Farm, Curry Mallet and West End Farm, Stoke Sub Hamdon. At Upper Twyford Barn, Hereford, a new orchard has been planted using historic local apple varieties. A site has also been cleared of scrub at Englishcombe for planting a village orchard. There have been major landscape works at Park Farm, Newton St Loe linked with a Higher Level Stewardship scheme to restore the historic parkland, including improving boundaries and demolishing eyesore buildings. At Restormel Manor, Lostwithiel, a Historic Building Analysis has been carried out as part of a long-term conservation plan for the walled garden and folly. Hedge plants have also been supplied and planted for improving and creating new hedgerows on various farms across the Duchy.