Winton Takes a Very Long Term Approach to ESG

Stewardship implies the responsibility for caring for something and someone. Importantly, this includes: E- the environment (a big subject), S – our social contribution and G – our – governance (the way we operate).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is another phrase to shine a light on the practice and interpretation of stewardship. All are relevant to countryside management; at Winton we divide CSR between the environment and people.

Our conservation work also extends significantly to estate buildings; they add a lot to the depth and interest of our countryside. ‘Strength, utility and beauty’, the guiding principles of 1st century Vitruvius, are still relevant when it comes to our approach to buildings.

Nurturing Our Environment

Climate change is arguably the biggest concern of our time. Our efforts are geared towards species diversity, renewable energy and waste.

The state of the soil and water are critical indicators of biodiversity. We want Winton to be a refreshingly noisy place in terms of wildlife. While Winton Estate transitions to organic farming, we continue to link wildlife corridors, add ponds, buffer strips and clearings. Progress so far:

  • 18 miles of hedges.
  • 11 miles of waterways.
  • 9 ponds.
  • 22 miles of tracks.

Winton Estate may have pioneered biomass district heating systems in Scotland, but truthfully our investment in 2000 was born out of common sense: we had a cold castle and we grew lots of trees!

Now there are many properties that benefit from the warmth of our 200kW woodchip boiler and firewood processing. We also have a grain dryer which benefits from 90kW of solar panels and a 100kW wind turbine, with excess from each going to the National Grid.

Separately, we do our bit by selling firewood through Winton Logs – largely using timber from our sustainably managed woods.

Saving energy in buildings requires insulation and efficient boilers. This is best installed when properties are empty, but since our residential tenancies tend to be very long term – often over 20 years – we have to take our chances.

Provision for recycling waste is in place for all hospitality venues and comes full circle when much of our road building comes from registered recycled material. We are not, however, complacent – aware of the task ahead of us.

Winning Green Awards

Recognition of our environmental work covering all these areas linked with hospitality and events has come with the following awards:

  • Gold Award for Green Tourism (GTBS) for ten years.
  • VIBES Award (Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland).
  • Green Business Network (3 green ticks, the highest level of accreditation)

Working with our People - Winton Teams

Six Winton Estate teams offer regular employment for over 30 staff and casual work for 50 more.

At Winton, we’re fortunate to have loyal staff who work here for the long term, with many quoting variety and our community as top benefits. A lot of Winton employees live locally which helps reduce our overall carbon footprint.

Winton’s employment principles include:

  • Transparency, accountability and interconnectedness.
  • Building independently profitable enterprises.
  • Nurturing a skilled and respected workforce.


We want to make a positive contribution locally and regionally.

In practice, this is demonstrated through:

  • Public access – there are 12 miles of footpaths on and around the estate known as the Winton Walks.
  • Provision of employment.
  • Planning land uses for long-term development to sustain Winton’s future – engaging with our neighbouring three villages at Pencaitland, Ormiston and New Winton.
  • Product sourcing locally where possible. We put over £2.5m annually into the local economy.