Rewilding at the farm.
In the Autumn of 2020 we began our Rewilding project at the farm by planting some trees.
Although this was the beginning of our formally signing up to Rewilding as a concept, after being inspired by such books as Wilding by Isabella Tree, we were pleased to discover from our research that we had already gone quite a long way along the road to restoring habitats, soil health, and species diversity on the farm.
We in fact began when we first purchased the farm in 1997, by converting what was then arable land to pasture sown with native grasses and wildflowers. 20 years later this has already born fruit with increasingly species-rich wild flower meadows year on year.
So in Autumn of this year, with the help of Climate Action North, we planted a small birch, willow and hazel grove in our bottom field, close to the edge of Hawthorn Dene. The plan is, as part of a DEFRA Countryside Stewardship Scheme, to take the edges of this field out of management and leave them ungrazed and mostly un cut to encourage the trees and scrub in the Dene to spread outwards.
Our next project is to make a lake or wetland in the dip at the bottom of this field which floods in the wet season already. We’re hoping to encourage migrating birds to land here.
We thought it a very good omen when an actual lake appeared and stayed for a couple of weeks in December. We were able to mark out the area so we will know where to dig out when we come to it. 'Work has already commenced with breaking a field drain and making a test pond to observe water levels over the year.'
We have built a strong relationship with the local community over the years with our community events and education projects. We are hoping that local people will take our Rewilding project to their hearts and anyone wanting to participate or volunteer either with labour or expertise or helping us do wildlife surveys. Please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org