BBC Wildlife Magazine - - WILD AT HOME - Fer­gus Collins, Ed­i­tor, BBC Countryfil­e


At a time of huge en­vi­ron­men­tal loss in Britain, this is a fierce bea­con of op­ti­mism. Is­abella Tree charts how she and her part­ner aban­doned un­prof­itable dairy farm­ing at Knepp – their 1,410ha Sus­sex es­tate (see p60) – and del­e­gated man­age­ment to na­ture. Go­ing against con­ven­tional and lo­cal wis­dom, they have al­lowed her­bi­vores – short-horn cat­tle, Ex­moor ponies, Tam­worth pigs and deer – to browse, roo­tle, graze and wal­low freely. In do­ing so, the an­i­mals have trans­formed the land­scape, creat­ing a mo­saic of rich habi­tats, par­tic­u­larly scrub-like sa­van­nah, that you sim­ply don’t see in the UK. Wildlife is thriv­ing and money be­ing made from sa­faris. Could this be a tem­plate for more of Britain’s wild spa­ces?

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