Reviving Five Rivers

Reviving Five Rivers

Needs: Landscape Recovery Scheme Funding Application

Landscape Characteristics: Arable land, species-rich grassland, wood pasture, floodplain meadows.

Earlier this year, Real Wild Estates were approached by the Forest of Selwood Charity based in Somerset to create their application for the second round of funding under DEFRA’s Landscape Recovery Scheme.

The Vision

‘Restoring the Forest of Selwood: Reviving Five Rivers

Real Wild Estates have produced a landscape-scale vision and project development plan spanning over 12,000 acres of the headwaters of the Brue, Cale, Frome, Stour and Wylye Rivers, with the aim of restoring the ancient landscape of the Forest of Selwood.

The ‘Reviving Five Rivers’ project will restore the ancient Saxon landscape of the Forest of Selwood, creating a diverse mosaic of habitats including wood pasture, species-rich grassland, floodplain and wet woodland. New habitats will be formed and existing priority habitats will be enhanced to provide shelter and food sources for returning species such as Hazel dormouse, Lesser-spotted woodpecker, Mistle thrush, Glass eel, and Marsh fritillary.

The project aims to contribute to net zero through improved carbon capture and storage and enhanced soil health; to improve biodiversity and bioabundance through the creation and enhancement of existing habitats and associated species recovery; and provide improved natural flood defenses and mitigation through increased water retention in the land.

Finally, the project will reconnect people with the ancient landscape by focusing on locally led actions which create paid and volunteering opportunities for contributing to restoration projects, tourism and ongoing monitoring and scientific research.