“It’s been great to spend two days in the Ashdown Forest, Sussex; working with its Conservators, wider landowners and stakeholders to map out a vision for how we can return to the best of its past, whilst restoring its ecosystems for the future.” says Real Wild Estates’ Director of Nature Restoration, Benedict Macdonald.
When AA Milne wrote Winnie the Pooh, this landscape was alive with cuckoos, turtle doves and nightingales, and half a century before, with wryneck, red-backed shrike and black grouse. So much has been lost here but not remembered. Now we have many missing ingredients to put back, even the basic components of life such as hawthorn willow and bramble.
Walking the Forest, it was great that both Benedict and Ross were able to reconnect with Natural England’s Chair, Tony Juniper CBE, and Wildlife Trusts’ CEO, Craig Bennett, as Real Wild Estates begin to map out an ambitious but pragmatic plan for nature recovery across this entire landscape.