Knepp rewilding sussex - Photographed by Simon Upton, Vogue, November 2020

Had an inspiring day out at @kneppwilding – ‘Rewild Your Garden Safari’. Knepp is a 3,500 acre estate just south of Horsham, West Sussex. Since 2001, the land – once intensively farmed – has been devoted to a pioneering rewilding project. Using grazing animals as the drivers of habitat creation, and with the restoration of dynamic, natural water courses, the project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife. Extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies are now breeding here; and populations of more common species are rocketing.

Had a walk around the newly planted walled garden designed by Tom Stewart Smith amongst others. Interesting talk beforehand, interesting talking to the gardeners about the manipulation of the land to introduce bumps & troughs and the use of delict buildings & materials, and of course the planting. I’m unsure about the amount of sand imported & placed on top of the Wealden clay – I suspect it won’t stay there for long. And most certainly added to their carbon footprint. But the overall effect is fantastic and I look forward to watching it evolve & seeing the increase in biodiversity it’s going to bring. No such thing as a weed!