Mapperton Estate

Blending rewilding and regenerative agriculture to restore wildlife across the estate 

Mapperton 4

At a glance

Location

Mapperton, Dorset

Area

438 acres

Start date

2021

Scale

Medium

Habitats

Lowland, Broadleaved woodland, Wood pasture, Rivers and streams and Grassland and meadow

Key species

Tamworth pigs, Exmoor ponies and White Park cattle

Rewilding actions

Extensive grazing, Habitat restoration and Species reintroduction

Engaging people

Tourism and Recreation

Mapperton Estate is a 1,900 acre estate in West Dorset, consisting of five farms with a mix of arable, dairy, pasture and woodlands. The Estate surrounds historic Mapperton House & Gardens, which are open to the public, and is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with numerous SSSIs and SACs.

Following consultancy from Knepp, the Estate has decided to change its land management strategy, combining the promotion of sustainable farming practices with rewilding areas which are less suited to food production.

Initially, Mapperton is planning to rewild around 438 acres at Coltleigh Farm. This part of the estate is already semi-rewilded, with lots of scrub, gorse and ever expanding hedgerows. The estate supports a mosaic of different habitats and has stunning views across the valley through to the coast.

Mapperton is also working on a project to reintroduce beavers to its local catchment, and link up to neighbouring landholdings to improve corridors for wildlife.

NATURE-BASED ENTERPRISES

Nature-based enterprises are being developed as part of this project. These include a new eco-tourism business offering glamping and camping which launched this year, wildlife safaris as well as high quality meat production. A wellbeing programme to include connecting people with nature is also being developed across the estate.

KICKSTARTING REWILDING

Mapperton have started their rewilding journey with the arrival of a small herd of White Park cattle in Spring 2021. In addition, they are undergoing various baseline surveys as part of their monitoring strategy. Countryside Stewardship applications are being submitted to support the development of additional wood pasture, which will combine natural regeneration with some tree planting. Lastly, the creation of additional wetland areas are being considered to restore biodiversity and water attenuation across the estate.

Images: Luke Montagu

Gallery

Mapperton 3
Mapperton Luke Montague 2
Mapperton Luke Montague

Find out more

Future Plans

  1. 1 Phase in other appropriate areas of the Estate in our rewilding project over time, always aiming to balance sustainable farming with our objective to improve habitats and biodiversity

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