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Castle opts for biomass boiler

Floors Castle has several greenhouses, used to grow pot plants for decorating the castle and also for growing fruit such as peaches, figs and grapes. Though most are kept at a low temperature over winter, one is heated to 15°C and head gardener Andrew Simmons says even with temperatures outside dropping to -10°C at times the boiler has been reliable throughout.

“It’s very important for our peace of mind,” he says of the system, which also provides him with pure wood ash as fertiliser for the gardens. “We know the heat is there so we don’t have to worry – we can always source more wood locally, and we can budget each year and know how much it’s going to cost.”

The Scottish Government helped fund the boiler’s installation in a disused dairy building at the heart of the estate, home to the 10th Duke of Roxburghe and with extensive gardens overlooking the River Tweed. Its central location means the heat can now be extended to supply estate cottages and eventually, it’s hoped, buildings outside the castle boundaries.

Floors Castle is an RHS Recommended Garden.

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