Country diary- The first green shoots of a rewilding project | Tolga Aktas
Standing on top of the hill here, you have a near 360-degree view of the Gloucester and Quedgeley area, including the River Severn. Closer to where we’re standing is an amazing array of habitats – lowland, mixed woodland, wetlands (including peatland and marsh), rivers and streams, and grasslands and meadows. This is Elmore Court, an estate with a 13th-century house that has given over some of its land to rewilding.
It’s early days for the project, as Elmore only began to rewild 250 of its 1,000 acres in October 2020, but Cynneth Bonanos, the sustainability and marketing coordinator, shows me around – and there is something magical about travelling through here. It reminds me of Isla Nublar from Jurassic Park, as the landscape is so dramatic.
We start with the grasslands, where a herd of 29 longhorn cattle (plus the temporary addition of a bull) are grazing peacefully. This is the same species that has been so successful at the well-known Knepp estate in West Sussex, and as at Knepp they will hopefully be joined by introduced Tamworth pigs, Exmoor ponies and deer. Between them, their grazing, browsing, rootling, rubbing, trampling and defecating will stop the emerging scrub from becoming closed-canopy woodland, spread nutrients around the landscape, and also disperse seed from their various diets.
In a newly installed wetland area, lapwings have started to settle, which is another promising early sign that the project is going in the right direction, and there are incredibly rich hedgerows containing dozens of species from dog rose to black bryony, and hazel to grey willow. The hope is that the estate will eventually have thriving numbers of badgers, birds, bats, invertebrates and reptiles.
Cynneth uses a drone to keep track of how the rewilded areas are developing, and that bird’s eye view has also been invaluable in assessing the damage done to the landscape by the brutal summer drought. He shows me imagery of the grassland in summer 2021 compared with summer 2022, and it’s shocking to see the difference as it changes from a healthy green to parched brown.
It’s inspiring to see a private estate dedicate itself to giving back to nature like this. I’m excited to see where this project goes in the next 10 years – by then the view from the hill could be very different.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a www.theguardian.com feed.)
Read Also- Latest News | Current Affairs News | Today News | English News | World News Today
TimesofNation.com offer news and information like- English newspaper today | today English news | English news live | times of India | today news in English in India | breaking news in India today | India TV news today & Hindustan times.
You can Read on TimesofNation.com latest news today, breaking news headlines, Top news. Discover national and international news on economy, politics, defence, sports, world news & other relatively current affair’s news.