Planet Pod goes on safari at Knepp Estate and talks with Isabella Tree

Join us as we take a safari through the 3500 acres of wild Sussex countryside at Knepp Estate – one of the largest rewilding projects in lowland Europe. With our guide Tom Forward we encounter longhorn cattle, Tamworth pigs and even some airborne White Storks!  Isabella Tree who –  along with her husband Charlie Burrell – owns and runs Knepp, shares her passion and vision and tells us the story of their extraordinary journey over the last 18 years.

LINKS:
Knepp Estate and Knepp Safaris

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Isabella Tree writes for publications such as National Geographic, Granta, The Sunday Times and The Observer. Her articles have been selected for The Best American Travel Writing and Reader’s Digest Today’s Best Non-Fiction, and she was Overall Winner of the Travelex Travel Writer Awards. 

She published her first book The Bird Man – a Biography of John Gould when she was 25.

Her latest book Wilding – the Return of Nature to an English Farm charts the story of the pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex where she lives with her husband Charlie Burrell.  

 

‘The remarkable story of an astounding transformation’ George Monbiot, author of Feral.

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.

Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.

Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.

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