On Friday 23rd September, I attended an excellent presentation about Weald to Waves by Libby Drew, Knepp Estate Rewilding Director and James Baird, an environmentally committed Sussex farmer.
The speakers discussed the creation of a safe corridor for nature from Ashdown Forest to Climping Gap. The project will protect the most valuable and vulnerable areas for nature, as well as potential wildlife migration routes. The plan is to create a contiguous corridor for wildlife all the way across Sussex. They are mapping the route using local Nature Recovery Networks “biodiversity opportunity theory.”
Land managers are incentivised to join the project through exciting opportunities of raising natural capital funding to pay for land put into nature conservation.
The Knepp Estate has demonstrated how nature can bounce back if given the chance, even on degraded land. The aim at Weald to Waves is to find appropriate funding to help do this in a strategic way, creating new habitat and reconnecting isolated islands of nature. This will allow wildlife populations to move freely through the landscape again, responding to climate change and other pressures.
The Shoreham Society is hoping to work closely with the Weald to Waves project over the months to come. We will invite the project coordinators to speak to Shoreham Society members and the wider community about this exciting initiative some time in 2023.
Gerard Rosenberg, Chair