Blenheim Palace
Rural

Rural

Blenheim Palace and the surrounding Estate lie at the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside on the fringe of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as the Cotswolds. For hundreds of years the land on and surrounding the Estate has been managed by our Rural Teams, as well as generations of tenant farmers. 

We take great pride in being custodians of the land, farming to produce the finest local commodities as well as conserving the Park landscape, ancient woodlands and extensive rights of way across the Estate.

As both a World Heritage Site and the site of several areas of Special Scientific Interest, we aim to preserve the natural habitat for all who visit the wider Blenheim Palace Estate.

If you have an enquiry regarding our Rural Department please contact Head of Rural Enterprises, Roy Cox, on 01993 810520 or email rcox@blenheimpalace.com

Rural

Blenheim Palace and the surrounding Estate lie at the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside on the fringe of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as the Cotswolds. For hundreds of years the land on and surrounding the Estate has been managed by our Rural Teams, as well as generations of tenant farmers. 

We take great pride in being custodians of the land, farming to produce the finest local commodities as well as conserving the Park landscape, ancient woodlands and extensive rights of way across the Estate.

As both a World Heritage Site and the site of several areas of Special Scientific Interest, we aim to preserve the natural habitat for all who visit the wider Blenheim Palace Estate.

If you have an enquiry regarding our Rural Department please contact Head of Rural Enterprises, Roy Cox, on 01993 810520 or email rcox@blenheimpalace.com

The Estate

Farming

For decades the Estate at Blenheim Palace has been a rich resource for all manner of farming activities.

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Farming
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Farming

For decades the Estate at Blenheim Palace has been a rich resource for all manner of farming activities. 

Arable

The arable farm extends to just over 2000 acres, mainly to the north of the Estate. It is farmed in conjunction with a local contractor, growing a traditional rotation of oilseed rape, wheat and oats. All of the land is farmed using the latest technology to deliver the best possible sustainable crops. The arable farm is responsible for honouring one of the country's largest Environmental Stewardship agreements, enhancing habitat for farmland birds, flora and fauna.

Livestock

The Park is home to approximately 1550 ewes, who each year give birth to an average of 2800 lambs. This part of the farm is overseen by our Head Shepherd, Charles Gerring, and Assistant Shepherd Will Michell.

The grassland within our World Heritage Site is an idyllic area for our extensive flock to graze throughout the year. We lamb outdoors in April to give lambs the best spring grass. Their wool, which is sheared in June each year, is sold to make products such as the beautiful Romney Wool rugs found in our East Courtyard Shop.

Did you know…?

Our sheep are reared entirely on grass largely staying within the Park walls, keeping them as naturally healthy and organic as possible.

The breeds kept at Blenheim Palace are Scotch Mule, Charollais, Romney and Poll Dorset.

Forestry

With over 2,000 acres of mature woodland on the Estate, most of which are designated Ancient or a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Blenheim Palace has a busy Forestry Team.

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Forestry
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Forestry

With over 2,000 acres of mature woodland on the Estate, most of which are designated Ancient or a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Blenheim Palace has a busy Forestry Team. 

Led by Nick Baimbridge, the Forestry Team undertakes regular thinning, felling and planting to preserve and maintain what is a natural habitat to hundreds of species of wildlife. As a long term strategy, part of the Estate and all of the woodland are within a Woodland Management Scheme promoting sustainable management for future generations. 

Nothing goes to waste, and when trees are felled they are either sold for firewood, or chipped for our own use to produce renewable energy in the Biomass Boilers which power Park Farm and the Pleasure Gardens.

As well as the extensive ornamental woodland, the team put in a lot of hard work to produce our very own Christmas trees, which are harvested and sold during November and December at the Palace.

Did you know...?

There are approximately 968 Veteran Oak trees in High Park on the Estate,  which has recently been discovered to be the oldest woodland in Europe at an estimated 900 years old.

Blenheim Palace sells approximately 1,500 Christmas Trees each year, ranging from three to 30 feet tall.

Queen Pool and The Great Lake

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown’s 110 acre lake forms the centrepiece of the designed landscape.

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Queen Pool and The Great Lake
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Queen Pool and The Great Lake

Not only is the Great Lake the centrepiece of the landscape, it is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, home to breeding birds, fish and small mammals, all of which can be seen from the many walking routes.

The lake is dammed at it's southern end near the Cascades. At the Grand Bridge, in one of Brown’s most significant alterations, the lower sections of the bridge were flooded when the water flowed into the hollow that took ten years to prepare.

Today the lake remains in its original form but it's management presents several challenges with the smaller Queen Pool silting up with sediment from the River Glyme. We are promoting discussions between local stakeholders, landowners and water authorities about a catchment-wide solution for the future of the lake.

The Parkland

The 2,100 acres of Parkland surrounding the Palace is one of the grandest and most monumental of the UK's designed historic landscapes.

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The Parkland
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The Parkland

The 2,100 acres of Parkland surrounding the Palace is one of the grandest and most monumental of the UK's designed historic landscapes, and holds a key position in the history of English landscape design.

In March 2014 we were delighted to finalise the Blenheim Palace and Park Parkland Management Plan. This significant piece of work undertaken by Historic Land Management Ltd, supported by Natural England, builds upon the World Heritage documents and took nearly two years to complete. It contains a complete history of the Park and outlines a schedule of works to protect and restore it for future generations.

Wildlife

Whatever the season, a wonderful range of flora and fauna can be found in our extensive Parkland.

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Wildlife
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Wildlife

With it's extensive parkland, Blenheim Palace is an ideal habitat for the abundance of wildlife that lives here.

The Great Lake and surrounding woodland are home to an array of bird species including geese, herons, ducks, moorhens, swans, woodpeckers and pheasants. You might spot some wild deer or muntjac if you walk the extended woodland trail around the Park. There are also hare, rabbits, our flocks of resident sheep and much more!


Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PS

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