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Farmers Hatch Plan to Return Area the Size of Dorset to Wild Nature

July 15, 2020 |

This article was originally published on The Guardian.

“Returning an area the size of Dorset to wild nature, reintroducing extinct lynx, pelicans and beavers and championing regenerative farming to restore soil health are the radical aims of a new charitable foundation.

But the most revolutionary feature of WildEast may be that it is founded by three farmers in the most intensively farmed region of Britain.

Hugh Somerleyton, Argus Hardy and Olly Birkbeck, who own more than 3,200 hectares (8,000 acres) on their family farms in Suffolk and Norfolk, are seeking to persuade farmers and also councils, businesses, schools and ordinary people across East Anglia to pledge a fifth of their land to wildlife.

WildEast aims to dedicate 250,000 hectares of East Anglia to wildlife over the next 50 years while also working with schools to enhance children’s knowledge of farming and wildlife and creating an accreditation system to boost wildlife-friendly farmers.

…Restoring wildlife is “not stopping farming, it’s fitting farming systems into natural systems so we can restore biodiversity”, added Hardy. “It’s not rewilding, it’s making things wilder – not to create space for nature but to find out how we live inside the ecosystem. We don’t want anyone to visit a nature reserve, we want you to live in one.””

Read on at: The Guardian

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