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Our first rewilding project came about by transforming the land immediately available to us. This is an insight into how we restored the meadow at NaviHo HQ.
Rewilding A Field
The land and surrounding area was comprised of what we've come to consider typical UK countryside - land that has been sectioned up into open fields in order to promote a single species of plant or livestock. The field provided no natural shelter for animals from the elements, nor provided a habitat to support a variety of wildlife. There were no wild flowers for insects to feed from or in turn, to pollinate, and all naturally occurring resources that enable a variety of ecosystems to thrive, had since been removed.
Plans were drawn up by Andrew Scott George from Wessex Wilding to create a habitat that could be shared by nature and humans. Recreating a wild habitat involves reshaping the land from a flattened, open farm field, to one with reliefs and breaks. This creates an opportunity for a whole variety of plants and animals to find a home in an area that suits them best. While land-contouring provides shelter for various plants, animals and insects, it also channels water-flow, allowing collection in some areas, and drainage in others. Balancing nature's needs with our own means that walkways, and functional use of space, including the placement of eco buildings, are set aside for human enjoyment and use, while nature is able to thrive in the majority of the space available.
Rewilding At Work
Work began by removing the monoculture of farm-grass and reshaping the land to provide numerous banks, troughs and plateaus. Water channels were dug to allow excess water to drain through the soil and collect in ponds. A number of trees were planted, and a variety of different wild-flowers were introduced. The purpose of this rewilding project was to create an ideal habitat for different species of butterflies and bees - two of natures most prolific pollinators. The meadow would of course support a variety of life, but ensuring that symbiotic couplings of flora and fauna were present would provide the wild meadow, and its inhabitants, with the right ingredients to thrive as an interconnected ecosystem.
The newly introduced wild-plant species and recently planted saplings began to take root, and it was not long before new growth began to appear. The combination of varying wild-plants compliment and support one another. Each species serves a purpose, working symbiotically with one another and other animals and insects to support the ecosystem as a whole.
As the meadow matured from new-growth into an established environment, it became the home of a variety of species. This particular meadow contains all of the essential flowers required by bees and varying types of caterpillar and butterfly, to allow them to thrive undisturbed in a area that will remain preserved. Hare, deer, owls, and other larger wild birds and animals frequently visit the meadow, and in the mornings areas of flattened vegetation indicate where deer have spent the night. The wildflower meadow provides an oasis where humans and nature can coexist in a mutually beneficial way.
NaviHo utilises its profits for purpose by investing in nature, but our efforts can be greatly accelerated with your help. There are three key ways you can support our carbon-drawdown & rewilding projects:
To be kept up-to-date of our progress join our rewilding mailing list to be informed of our rewilding news, or alternatively join the NaviHo online community to receive all of our most recent news and updates. We thank you and greatly appreciate your support.