The ultimate zero waste gift for the person who has everything?

Filed in Blog by on September 4, 2012 2 Comments
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Digging out vines for rehoming – Jillian’s zero waste pledge

I received an intriguing and somewhat sad zero waste week pledge from Jillian at Ickworth vineyard in Suffolk.

Jillian and her husband have been renting part of a National Trust walled garden since 1995 and have turned it into a thriving vineyard, selling English wine to local retailers and through farmers markets. The National Trust were delighted to see it used as a vineyard because until that point they didn’t have a policy for walled gardens – they were being grubbed up or turned into car parks and when Jillian took on the land it had a few sheep and donkeys on it.

Recently, the National Trust found detailed plans about a 1910 walled garden, including layout, crops and even cropping records. They succeeded in getting funding and ear marked two properties for development with the aim of restoring two walled gardens to exact Victorian standards and promoting conservation.

Unfortunately for Jillian, Ickworth is one of the properties that is going to be developed. She has until next February to return the land to the way she found it – pasture land for sheep and donkeys; which means she has 2000 vines to grub up and burn.

The thing is, Jillian is a bit of a recycler herself and she feels she owes it to the vines to find them new, loving homes. So far she’s rehomed 700 of them to people in and around the area.

She’s also going to use the posts to make raised beds to grow her own vegetables and will be offering galvanised wire to people who need it, free of charge.

Jillian tells me the vines are still in their prime and will give pleasure for the next 25 years.

Her wine has been given a glowing review by Oz Clarke and Jillian has a few bottles of her wine left for sale. So if you want to own a piece of English Heritage and provide someone you love, or even treat yourself, to an original zero waste gift contact Jillian. You can follow her twitter stream or send a contact form via her Ickworth vineyard website.

Vines cost £10 each and will be ready for digging up in November. Bottles of wine range from £9.50 to £18.50

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (2)

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  1. Chris Levey says:

    This seems like madness, The National Trust should develop unused walled gardens and where the land is being productive and helping local food/wine production it should be left alone, not just dug up for the retrospective movement

  2. Ann Knight says:

    I am a member of the NT and I think this is terrible, not only undoing the good work that Jillian has done by making something of the garden, but losing income for Jillian in the recession. Surely there are undeveloped gardens that could be targetted. I really don’t see the point.

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