Articles by us


spring 2018

CIEEM inpractice

Creating a Mess - The Knepp Rewilding Project

Established in 2001, the Knepp rewilding project in West Sussex has produced astonishing results in terms of recovering habitats and biodiversity. But its potential as a provider of vital ecosystem services – including soil restoration – is greater still and could revolutionise land
management in the UK.

Red Deer Stag in the Rut Middle block Knepp Wildland.jpg

summer 2015

conservation land management

The Knepp Wildland Project - process-led conservation

Knepp Castle Estate comprises over 1,400ha of heavy Sussex Weald clay. It has always been a struggle to farm here but the land - characterised by small fields traditionally hedged and deeply ditched, and featuring a preponderance of 'laggs' (a Sussex term for water meadows) - is particularly unsuited to modern farming practices....

nov/dec 2015

the economist 1843

Dam it!

These endearing young kits belong to a 17,000-strong population of beavers in Bavaria. Hunted to the verge of extinction in the 19th century for their silky fur and castoreum – the secretion from the scent sacs close to the tail used for making perfume – they’ve made a dramatic comeback across Europe: an estimated 639,000 individuals by 2003...

15 july 2015

national geographic

Can Rewilding Bring Nature Back to Modern Britain?

Britain’s most endangered animals and plants have declined by 58 percent since the 1970s, and one in ten is threatened with extinction, according to a recent report.

The U.K. has lost 44 million birds since 1966  and, historically, more large mammals—including wolves, lynx, bears, beavers, boars, moose, bison, and wolverines—than any other European country except Ireland...

19 april 2015

national geographic

Rewilding Farm Creates Refuge for England’s Rare Turtledoves

The nightingales are back!

From the thickets of our rewilding project comes a virtuoso performance: an aria of liquid trills and throaty gurgles, ending in an exuberant whistling crescendo. We stalk along the periphery of what was once a hedgerow—now an explosion of blackthorn, dog rose, bramble, alder, and oak—soaking in the sound...

march/april 2015

resurgence & ecologist

Wait and see

In just a few weeks' time - around the end of April - we should be hearing our first nightingales, followed by cuckoos and turtle doves. The return of these lovely African migrants is one of the most keenly awaited moments of the year at Knepp Castle, West Sussex. To those of us who heard them regularly as children, their song is suffused with an almost melancholy nostalgia. It's the sound of summer. They're the stuff of Keats and Shakespeare, as British as strawberries and cream....

5 march 2013

country life

A silver lining to a scandal

When we introduced a stallion to our six Exmoor mares one sunny September day in 2005, it was a milestone. Suddenly we had the potential of a wild herd on our hands....


Duncan the Exmoor stallion as a young man  2136x3216.JPG

13 february 2013

sunday times

Where the wild things are

A pack of wolves lopes down Lenin Boulevard. Eagles soar above the reactor's cooling ponds. A wild boar rootles outside the abandoned soccer stadium. Welcome to Chernobyl, Europe's most surprising nature sanctuary...