Protection and care for the environment is one of the three key aims of the Minsteracres Retreat Centre charity, established in 2012. One of the priorities of the new board was to instigate an environment policy and all our decisions about how to manage the buildings and grounds are guided by it. In the autumn of 2013 our biomass boiler was installed, reducing our CO2 emissions from 143 tonnes to 18 tonnes per year, while delivering great savings over the previous oil fired heating.  We are particularly proud of our achievement and very grateful to the engineering company re:heat who installed the boiler.

Part of the Minsteracres estate is ancient woodland, charted on maps going back centuries. In fact two of the oak trees are over 500 years old. In recent years though, the woodland has become choked by invasive species. To ensure the long term survival of the woodland, work has begun to plant natural species including English oak, Scots pine and Downy birch. The aim is to reverse the decline in woodland birds, increase the numbers of red squirrels on site, and protect the plant species on the ground which thrive in the ancient woodland. The work which began in 2012 is planned in phases up to 2032.

If you’ve got some spare time and would like to get some exercise on a beautiful estate then why not become a conservation volunteer or ‘Volcon‘ and enjoy the company of like-minded people?  Call us on 01434 673248 or email

Click here for more images of our environment.