Keeping Charlecote "green"

Walk beside the river Avon through Charlecote's parkland and look out for wildlife

Keeping Charlecote “green” helps our limited funds, as well as benefiting our immediate environment and the wider world. We’re always looking for new ideas and products that will help, and maybe we’ve thought of something that you can do at home too.

Offices and kitchen

  • [Please note that some of these measures may have changed in line with Government guidance during the pandemic]
  • We’re no longer using disposable plastic cups for water; there are washable plastic cups and glasses available.
  • We’re buying our cleaning fluids in larger quantities that we can then decant into smaller reusable containers too, which will also help us throw away much less plastic. 
  • All the paper we use in the offices is made from recycled materials and of course we reuse anything that’s been printed on only one side.
  • We’re always looking out for things that can be repurposed – an old dishwasher cutlery basket makes a great desk tidy!
  • We fix, repair, reuse and recycle wherever we can.
  • Our volunteers are brilliant at supplying us with spare stationary to help us save costs.
We'll repair rather than replace where we can
Repair rather than replace where we can at Charlecote Park
We'll repair rather than replace where we can
  • We are using more energy efficient hand driers. [Hand towels are currently being provided during the pandemic].
  • We get through a lot of tea bags in the staff and volunteer kitchen! But they come in a cardboard box which has a plastic bag inside which is thrown out as soon as the box is open, so we’re looking for tea bags which just come in a box.

Our shops

  • Our Plant Centre was set up with fixtures and fitting being discarded by other National Trust properties.
  • All our plants are in peat-free compost and we sell bags of peat-free compost too, as well as micorrhizal fungi granules so you use less artificial fertiliser for your new plants. Some of our plants are in coir Hairy Pots, so no plastic at all!
Hairy Pot Plants - just pop them straight into your garden
Hairy pot plants on sale in tea garden at Charlecote
Hairy Pot Plants - just pop them straight into your garden
  • We save all our cardboard boxes that our stock comes in and take them up to the Plant centre – we’ll load your plants in one so you don’t get compost in the car.
  • Who says you can’t plant a rose in the same place as an old rose? Did you know that if you plant your new rose in a large cardboard box of compost in the same spot, it will be fine?
  • We save all our plastic bubble wrap too and re-wrap delicate things that customers buy in the Servants’ Hall shop – you can recycle it again if you’re posting something, pass it on to someone moving house, or perhaps wrap plant pots for winter protection.
  • We’re using slate signs in the plant shop, the writing can be erased and the slates re-used over and over again.
Our reusable slate signs mean that we don't have to use plastic laminates any more
Charlecote Park's Avenue Plant centre has plenty of lovely ideas for your garden
Our reusable slate signs mean that we don't have to use plastic laminates any more

Orangery and Wood Yard cafe

  • We’re using compostable plastic cups. On quieter days when we can keep up with the washing up, we have gone back to proper glasses too. Our drinking straws are biodegradable - but have you thought about whether you need a straw at all?
  • Our takeaway hot beverages are also handed to you in compostable cups.
  • Our new waste-collection company allows us to separate out more for recycling – glass, plastic, tins, cardboard and waste food.
  • We try to buy from suppliers who use glass rather than plastic bottles.
Refreshing lemonade - in recyclable glass botles
Enjoy a refreshing lemonade with your meal in Charlecote's Orangery tearoom
Refreshing lemonade - in recyclable glass botles


  • Throughout the whole property we’re changing to LED bulbs where possible, just a few to go.
  • We’ve had movement sensors on lights in the offices for quite a while, so that we can be sure they’re off when there’s no-one about. It does mean that one person sitting working quietly sometimes has to jump about to turn the lights back on though!
  • In the future, our heating project will help to better stabiise the temperature and humidity in the house which will reduce energy costs.


  • All our broken plastic pots and empty compost bags are taken away and recycled into bags for agricultural feed – who knows, maybe we’re getting some of our winter sheep feed back in our own recycling!
  • We compost all our green material on site, shredding anything too big to compost down quickly, and we’re putting in even more new compost bays later this year.
  • Broken terracotta pots are put into our planters for drainage.
  • Look out for our excess bedding plants behind the summerhouse – they’re yours to take home for a small donation.
  • Where posts have rotted in the ground we’ll always reuse the good end.
The deer and sheep keep a close eye on what our staff and volunteers are up to
Staff and volunteers put up tree guards at Charlecote watched by deer sheep
The deer and sheep keep a close eye on what our staff and volunteers are up to

You can help too

You can help us to keep Charlecote green too – make sure your rubbish goes in to the right bins. It's even more helpful if you take your rubbish home with you - our commercial waste disposal costs us nearly £4000 a year and this money could be better spent on our conservation work.

And of course, pop in to the second-hand bookshop where there are plenty of good reads being recycled! [Currently closed in line with Government guidelines during the pandemic].

We’re asking our staff and volunteers to take a quick photo of anything they think could be reused or recycled, or anywhere where we can be more “green efficient” – please do the same and send it to us on social media!

See more about the National Trust's commitment to phase out single use plastics by 2022.