Central to the scheme is a new 90m² retail space, four times bigger than Markshall’s previous shop, which stocks items from over 50 local suppliers, craftspeople and artists; all of whom prioritise the sustainability of their products.
“Our new shop has enabled us to showcase more local suppliers and artists who have a connection with nature and the environment,” explains Kath Cockshaw, Markshall Estate’s executive director.
A new Plant Centre, two and half times larger than its predecessor, also emphasises the importance of local sourcing, with Essex-based A&J Plants stocking the outlet with horticultural products inspired by the Markshall Estate Arboretum.
The redevelopment of commercial spaces hasn’t stopped there, however, with the site’s Orchard Kitchen café having been expanded and underfloor heating installed.
This new heating system is powered by a carbon neutral 106kw biomass boiler which will provide all the hot water required in the Visitor Centre, café and shop; reducing the Estate’s carbon dioxide output by at least 9.5 tons each year.
“As a conservation-led charity caring for Markshall Estate over the previous 50 years, we want to lead by example in everything we do. The installation of the new biomass boiler means we can do just that, saving tons of carbon each year,” Cockshaw continues.
“With COP26 and climate change at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we want to help our visitors take climate action through making some simple lifestyle changes and inspire generations to become ambassadors for the environment.”