Matthew Phelps, Safari Guide at Knepp Estate
The illustrated talk with videos had 4 sections:
1.Introduction of herbivores: Tamworth Pigs, Fallow and Red Deer, Exmoor Ponies and Longhorn Cattle are now established.
2. Wildlife successes: Arable becoming wood pasture; layering of scrub; no flaying of hedges; spreading of laggs (ribbons of water) and river restoration have resulted in population increases of: wetland birds, Nightingales, Turtle Doves, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, Water Voles and Water Shrews. Organic carbon and microbial biomass have doubled in the soil.
3. Reintroductions: White Storks population increased with third successful season in 2022 when 20 chicks raised in 10 nests. 2020 male and female Beaver brought in.
4. New projects: Sussex Cattle now raised on 300 acres near Shipley. Knepp Castle’s walled garden to be rewilded. Surveys to continue. Participation in “Weald to Waves” Project to establish connectivity corridor from Ashdown Forest to Climping Gap.