BLENHEIM Palace has unveiled plans to go zero-carbon on its 12,000 acres of land over the coming decades.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site's long-term goal is to become the UK’s first estate to demonstrate carbon-positive land management.

As part of this initiative, the Blenheim Estate also wants to lead the way for other estates to protect, utilise and share the benefits of huge areas of British countryside.

See also: Oxford University plans to transform Osney Mead take a step forward

Blenheim estates director Roy Cox said: "Almost a third of the UK’s land is managed by estates like ours and we have a huge social, environmental and economic responsibility to deliver a clear vision for its future role in our society.

"In many cases it seems like the idea of land being at the heart of the local economy, climate and health has been forgotten."

The estate’s land strategy covers five main areas it plans to work on.

Oxford Mail:

The five areas are: connecting communities with a network of paths and cycle routes; sharing the health and wellbeing potential of land with local communities; valuing the benefits of biodiversity to the ecosystem; demonstrating the role of carbon positive land in tackling climate change, and working with producers to start re-delivering economic gain from land.

Mr Cox said: “Creating new green travel networks is key to reducing car journeys and strengthening links between us and the local communities.”

The estate will partner with local producers and artisans to establish a range of products and services under the Blenheim brand which will help to create new skills, jobs and economic benefits locally.

“We have a responsibility to hand this land on to future generations in a better condition than we found it,” Mr Cox added.

“We can only achieve this by recognising the vital role it plays in things we all share, but doing so in a way local communities can benefit from and we can all be proud of.”

At the pinnacle of the estate’s ambitions is the goal to become the first estate to demonstrate carbon-positive land management.

Ultimately, these projects form part of Blenheim Palace’s strategic purpose, managers said – to be the 'lifeblood of the local economy' and to 'enhance the lives of local people'.