FREEING THE LANDSCAPE: Grazing animals as ecosystems engineers

The Knepp Vera Conference 2017

A snapshot of the two days

Mick Crawley - Summing up

Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London, an ecologist with special interest in plant-herbivore interactions.

Summing Up

Day One

Ted green

Founding member of the Ancient Tree Forum and former English Nature Conservation consultant to the Crown Estate at Windsor


FRans vera

Renowned ecologist and ornithologist, involved in the Oostvaardersplassen since 1979

Freeing the landscape – grazing animals as ecosystems engineers

mike allen

Geoarchaeologist and environmental archaeologist who has specialises in in the 10,000-year history of chalk grasslands.

Chalk grasslands: man or nature? The archaeological subfossil snail evidence

Dr Keith Alexander

Freelance Ecological Consultant

Beetles open a window into the past – sub-fossil evidence of a more open post-glacial forest.

Neil Sanderson

Ecologist and lichenologist, has spent 30 years learning from the New Forest and visiting old growth woodlands across Europe.

Lichens, grazing and woodland structure; or a tale of two forests

Jill Butler

UK Conservation adviser, Woodland Trust and specialist in ancient and other veteran trees, wood pastures and parkland.

Perceptions of primeval forest – Britain’s ancient oaks challenge the myth

Sue Hartley

President of the British Ecological Society, trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute

Grazers and Browsers for Conservation in the UK

Matthew Oates

National specialist on nature for the National Trust, is writing on the ecology of the Purple Emperor butterfly. Major breakthroughs have been made at Knepp.

Discovering the Purple Emperor – insights gained from rewilding at Knepp

Charlie Burrell

Owner of Knepp Castle Estate and chair of Rewilding Britain.

Rewilding Knepp: how the economics stack up

Penny Green

Knepp's resident ecologist is putting together the ten year review of the rewilding project.

Turtle doves and nightingales: the wildlife results of Knepp

Day Two

David Balharry

Scottish Director, Rewilding Britain

A Vision for a Rewilded Scotland

Leo Linnartz 

Landscape ecologist, and grazing and predation expert at ARK Nature. Since 2005 he has worked on the reintroduction of wisent (bison) in the Dutch dunes near Zandvoort.

Bison, wild cattle and horses in the Kraansvlak and Maashorst, The Netherlands

Jonathan Spencer

Head of Environment for Forest Enterprise England, observer on the Rewilding Britain Board of trustees and former Nature Conservancy Council forest ecologist

Change and Necessity: the way ahead for UK Conservation

Bill Sutherland & Nancy Ockendon

Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Cambridge, President of the British Ecological Society, and a huge fan of Frans Vera.

Future challenges and opportunities for rewilding and restoration                                         

John Lawton

Leader of the groundbreaking 2010 review of England’s wildlife sites -‘Making Space for Nature’, and President of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (God’s own county)

Making Even More Space for Nature