In this episode, Patrick is joined by Isabella Tree, an award-winning author and travel writer, who lives with her husband, the environmentalist Charlie Burrell, in the middle of a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex.
The vision of the Knepp Wildland Project is radically different to conventional nature conservation in that its driving principle is to establish a functioning ecosystem where nature is given as much freedom as possible. 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.
During the conversation, Isabella explains why the Knepp experience challenges conventional ideas about our past and present landscape and points to the positive impact that such an approach can have on farming and nature.
“I see rewilding as the webbing that threads through the agricultural landscape”, she explains. “It’s a way of recovering the systems upon which farming depends”.