Rewilding Shout Outs
During our "rewilding" journey we have come across some fantastic people who are doing great work and whose message deserves a broader audience.
Chris Jones, Woodland Valley Farm and the Cornwall Beaver Project
Woodland Valley is a working organic farm in the heart of Cornwall run by Chris and Janet Jones.
Woodland Valley is the home of The Cornwall Beaver Project. A 5 acre/2 hectare area of plantation woodland along Nankilly water, a stream at Woodland Valley, was fenced to create a beaver enclosure. The picture shown gives a sense of the extent of the stream before the arrival of the beavers.
Two adult beavers, one male, one female, were released into a pond on-site and have been left to re-engineer the area through dam and canal building. The beavers were released in June 2017 and began dam building after just 2 nights. Dams are continually being extended by the beavers and new ones constructed; every week there is a noticeable change.
Chris kindly hosted Nick and Elena at the Beaver Project in June 2022. We were delighted that one of the beavers came to say hello!
Cornwall Beaver Project
Nature-based Solutions Initiative
Founded in 2017 by Nathalie Seddon, the Nature-based Solutions Initiative is an international, multi-lingual and interdisciplinary team of natural and social scientists, seeking to apply impactful research to shape policy and practice on nature-based solutions through research, teaching and engagement with policymakers and practitioners. The NbSI is based in the Department of Zoology and the School of Geography at the University of Oxford.
Emily is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management at California State University Channel Islands. Emily is doing some fantastic research on how rivers are complex “speed bumps” in the spreading of wildfires and particularly how beaver meadows are significant mitigants to wildfire spreading and therefore damage. The impact of beavers on wildfire mitigation has only really been studied in the last two years and is a great example of a “nature-based solution”.
TENT - The European Nature Trust
TENT was founded by Paul Lister, philanthropist and owner of the wonderful Alladale Wildeness Reserve in Scotland which Nick and Elena visited in June 2022. Alladale is leading the way on rewilding in Scotland and was featured on BBC Springwatch 2021. A Scottish Wildcat enclosure has been built on the reserve as part of a captive breeding project in partnership with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Saving Wildcats. The wildcats are being bred with the ultimate aim of release at some point in the future, once appropriate preparations have been made.
TENT supports many conservation projects including The Foundation Conservation Carpathia in Romania.
Georgie was the first winner of the Marine Conservation Society's Optimist of the Year Award and also recently won the British and Irish Underwater Photography Championships with the stunning seagrass image above (shamefully cropped so go to Georgie's website to see the complete picture). In December 2021 Georgie published a fantastic film "Time & Tides" that features the wonderful marine life at Charmouth and how we continue to see there, in Georgie's words, "a poetic synergy of nature's past, present and future".