Wild Somerleyton

Raising awareness and recovering nature — rewilding lowland habitats in Norfolk
Credit: Wild Somerleyton

At a glance

Location

Suffolk

Area

2,050 acres

Start date

2016

Scale

Large

Habitats

Lowland, Mixed woodland, Lakes and ponds, Grassland and meadow and Heathlands and shrub

Key species

Exmoor ponies, Welsh black cattle, Large black pigs, Mouflon and Water buffalo

Rewilding actions

Extensive grazing and Natural regeneration

Engaging people

Volunteering, Education programme and Wellness programme

Wild Somerleyton took the decision to move away from sheep grazing and traditional management to a rewilding approach using extensive low density cattle grazing. Since 2016, they have introduced a range of grazing species to encourage natural habitat succession and dynamics across the project area.

NATURE BASED ENTERPRISE

The proposals have created new nature based enterprise including high quality meat production, events and weddings, ecotourism (holiday log cabins, camping, glamping, safaris), education activities, and a health and wellbeing programme.

This project is part of the wider Wild East project, aimed to promote nature recovery across the region and return 20% of land to nature. This ambitious campaign is about raising awareness and inspiring how our countryside could look in the future for wildlife and people.

KICK-STARTING REWILDING

A reduction in sheep grazing was needed to allow natural processes more free reign on the site. More diverse, functional grazing animals were introduced to the project area to create species diversity and wood pasture habitats. In addition, some manual removal of non-native invasive species and fences was required.

Images: Wild Somerleyton & Alastair Driver

Gallery

Credit: Alastair Driver
Credit: Wild SomerleytonMaybe source website
Credit: Wild Somerleyton
Credit: Wild Somerleyton
Credit: Wild Somerleyton
Credit: Wild Somerleyton

Find out more

Future Plans

  1. 1 Continue monitoring wildlife in partnership with Suffolk Wildlife Trust and RSPB
  2. 2 Promote rewilding and nature friendly farming to local communities through the Wild East project

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