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The First Garden Fest to go Carbon Neutral!

We’re proud to announce that Toby Buckland Garden Festival is the first Garden show and one of just a few major events to be awarded Carbon Neutral status.

We’ve always worked hard to reduce our impact on the environment, seeking out and sourcing from local sustainable suppliers but knew that there was more to do… So, with the help of eco-auditors Blue Marble we monitored the energy/greenhouse gasses – the carbon – that the fest produces, and have offset this by planting trees as part of a wildlife protection scheme.

Why we’ve done it…

Over the past two decades the effects of climate change have accelerated, with ever-more extreme weather and the loss of wildlife, birds and biodiversity from our countryside.

Since our first Fest in 2014, we’ve strived to make a difference, curating our exhibitors to ensure plants, crafts and food are provided by companies that work with nature and support their local economy. We’ve also:

  • Actively reduced travel when organising the fest by working from a virtual office.
  • Partnered with waste companies to recycle what we can and ensure no waste goes to landfill.
  • Provided visitors with recycle points for the plastic pots they might have in their greenhouse at home; gifted wildflower seeds and show-cased chemical-free garden products/techniques.


Our green philosophy has also allowed us to analyse our environmental impact measured in tons of carbon. And with that knowledge, and the expertise of Blue Marble we’ve partnered with a ecological project in Cambodia that through preserving and enhancing a protected habitat can recapture the carbon we release.   

I know what you’re thinking… why couldn’t we offset our carbon in the UK or even better where it was released in Devon? The fact is, the only carbon capture projects available to us are in the tropics where large ‘assessed’ natural landscapes exist and where rapid plant growth in hot and humid jungle conditions makes for fast rates of carbon capture.

Perhaps one day soon, we’ll support carbon offset projects managed by local councils and parks departments. The difference if all businesses did this locally (especially to the care of cash-strapped greenspaces) would be immense! But that’s a campaign for the future. For now, we’ve done the next best thing and chosen to support a really special project in the lush jungles of eastern Cambodia.

The Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS) spans over 290,000 hectares (bigger than Dorset) and is a haven for biodiversity and a vast storehouse of forest carbon.

The protected area is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including 84 globally threatened species including yellow-cheeked crested gibbon and elephants.

Launched in 2010 The Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary is a collaboration between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Wildlife Conservation Society which has made impressive strides in reducing deforestation, promoting alternative livelihoods, supporting education and training initiatives, and establishing ecotourism that supports local communities.

We chose the KSWS because of this proven track record of conservation work and the fact that the project has prevented the release of more than 20 million tons of CO2e emissions and saved 25,000 hectares of forest from destruction.

More about the project


The KSWS also holds a unique cultural significance for the Indigenous Bunong people, who have called this forest home for centuries and whose culture and livelihoods are deeply entwined with the forest. Despite the importance of this area, it faces a high threat of deforestation due to various factors, including forest conversion for agriculture and illegal logging.


More than 350 bird species have been observed across the rich mix of forest types found within KSWS, including 21 woodpecker species, and is especially important for monkeys, lesser apes, lorises, with seven primate species living within the protected area boundaries. The KSWS and the landscape around it are important for endangered Asian elephants and home to around a quarter of Cambodia’s remaining wild elephant population.


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