Sustainability and Conservation

Sheepdrove Organic Farm, two thousand acres of green pastures, wildflower meadows, ancient woodland and fields of heritage grains on chalk downland, is a pioneer of sustainable, regenerative and organic farming. Juliet and Peter Kindersley, founders of innovative information publisher DK, converted the farm to organic over a quarter of a century ago, their interest driven by a desire to set up a model for sustainable agriculture and a passionate concern for animal welfare. They remain committed to environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

Our award-winning building ensures our carbon footprint is kept to a minimum. Here’s how…

Conference centre at Sheepdrove Organic Farm

The building sits on the ‘footprint’ of the previous farm office to minimise the physical demands on land

Materials from the demolition of the redundant buildings were re-used

Chalk from the excavations was re-used to create the “rammed earth” walls

New timber products are from responsibly managed and renewable sources

No PVC was used in the centre, including electrical wiring

Toilet cubicle partitions are made from recycled toothpaste tubes and wash basin panels from recycled CDs

Wind turbine

A solar heating panel preheats the water for the boilers

Only two small boilers are required to heat the building due to high levels of insulation

Controls allow areas of the building not in use to shut down

Heat exchangers are used in the kitchen to recover heat

Natural daylight bathes the interior, saving lighting

Reed bed system at Sheepdrove Organic Farm

Water is drawn from a 300ft deep well located on site

Water is recycled by a reedbed system; when clean, it returns to the water table

Rainwater captured by the roof goes into the reedbed system offsetting water demands

Flower meadow

Awards for Sheepdrove include

Civic Trust Special Award. Sustainability Award. Level of Award. Special Award. Region. South East. 2005

First place in Green Award category of the Event Awards 2008

RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Award 2012

The Boat House

Reedbed System

The reedbed system at Sheepdrove was installed in spring 2002. Reedbeds treatment systems, sometimes called treatment wetlands, are zero energy input, low-tech, high efficiency wastewater treatment systems that use growing wetland plants to clean waste water sufficiently to discharge back into the environment.