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Using Rewilding To Boost Your Glamping Business With Sara King #045

This episode covers a chat within the Glamping Business The Start Up And Grow Club, which supports new owners in their endeavours with special guest experts, unique training, and weekly face-to-face meetings to tackle issues being experienced by members in real-time. In this session, we invited Sara King to discuss with members how they can use rewilding to boost their glamping business, attract more guests and profits, while at the same time supporting local flora and fauna and at-risk species. This session included a presentation, which can be downloaded by clicking here: Rewilding Good For Business

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About Sara King, Rewilding Britain

Sara has a strong background in rewilding, biodiversity monitoring and assessment, species reintroductions, land management, and restoration plans.

The network she supports helps those who are rewilding or supporting rewilding. Sara represents Rewilding Britain, but the issues discussed apply to any country regardless of their location and glamping business owners are at the forefront of an increasing number of entrepreneurs considering how to align their businesses with environmental factors that are vitally important. In Sara’s words:

“Eco tourism is very, very complimentary to the rewinding projects that are happening and they could help to underpin and support those projects going forward financially as well as improving awareness of what rewinding is and what our landscapes should look like and some of the species that are missing that could be returned.”

Sara King Rewilding Britain

The Glamping Business Podcast Show Notes

Additional Resources And Links Mentioned

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Sarah Riley: So often we struggle on our own trying to make sense of current issues impacting our business things that we should maybe be dealing with in more detail. But we struggled to understand the exact issues. We struggled to understand how our business can actually help the situation. And this is where you don’t need to struggle on your own anymore. There are experts out there who can help you. And one such experts. I invited recently into the Start up and Grow Club. So welcome to episode 45 glamping and unique holiday rentals are surging in popularity with the growing desire of customers to book holidays and experience. They are also the new business of choice for those wanting to improve their work-life balance, build a strong business like this gives you the life you need and a great investment. I’m so Riley and I want to share what I’ve discovered after being immersed in this industry for over 20 years, to inspire you to find out more about what’s going on. Welcome. This is the business of glamping unique holiday rentals.

Sarah Riley: Hello, and thank you for joining me today. It’s really great to have your hair. I’m excited to be sharing this with you today because honestly, as small business owners, we do often find ourselves on our own trying to make sense of stuff, and it’s a struggle and it can often feel lonely. And we have a passion for our businesses. We want them to succeed, but often we just don’t understand what direction we need to take. And the steps that we need to follow, some of the issues are actually really important to tackle. If we want to run successful businesses that grow in strength and thrive and having a community of people around you, who are in exactly the same unique business is gold. You can bounce ideas off each other. You can be inspired reenergize when quite frankly, you’re lacking motivation. And you know, it’s, it’s really important to be able to get the essential answers to your questions, to feel like you’re not on your own.

Sarah Riley: So this is what members liked so much about the Start up and Crow Club, because we’re able to tackle topics which are really relevant to this industry, things which are happening now at the moment. So when the pandemic was happening, also when environmental issues are happening, all this kind of thing. And so actually recently we’ve had all kinds of experts come in and talk about certain things which really matter in this industry. So we’ve talked about new and emerging glamping, business models, income generation techniques, selling without selling guest attraction and marketing pay per click ads, success, food, safety, and hygiene, which is particularly important when things are being introduced in terms of new legislation, which it has been recently because of the terrible situation. When someone had some food, which they were allergic to, it wasn’t labelled. And unfortunately, they died from a reaction that they had to that food.

Sarah Riley: And as people who offer food to our businesses, it’s incredibly important. We understand what the laws are. So we protect ourselves as well as protecting our guests. We also had land agents who came in and gave us information around land prices and how to secure land, where Melissa’s looking for land. And we’re looking for some kind of space where we can have our business crowdfunding a new project and getting the money to finance that new, new businesses, something we had an expert come in and talk about as well. We have very soon got someone coming into the club to talk about styling a space. We’ve had accountants come in water safety experts. We’ve talked about recession, proofing our businesses, and we have all kinds of people who’ve come in and talked about topics that are important, relevant, and very much the centre of what people are thinking about with regard to a unique glamping business and accommodation business.

Sarah Riley: So one of those things is around rewilding it’s around environmental protection and thinking about sustainability and where our businesses fit with that. So I invited Sarah King in, from rewilding Britain to join the club. And we had a really great presentation from her and a very good and deep question and answer analysis around members, individual properties, and their ambitions for rewilding on their land and with the guests and how they could build that so that it would actually benefit their business instead of being a negative thing that would just cost them money. So a copy of the presentation that goes with this is going to be with the show notes. So do download that and have a look at that while you’re listening to this audio, I hope you enjoy this session on the topic. It’s just a bit of a taste of reality about what we deal with in the Start up and Grow Club.

Sarah Riley: It really is a huge variety of topics that are important to members. And it gives you an idea of the kind of benefits that you’ll gain if you decided to be a member. And if you do then do you follow the link as well to the Start up and Grow Club And you can find out more about that, but in the meantime, download this presentation and I hope you enjoy this topic. There are things that we can do and principles that we can introduce to help us boost our business. When we’re thinking about rewilding and Sarah is spearheading the development and project management of the rewilding network. So this is a network that exists if anybody’s interested in finding out more after this meeting. so Sara herself has got a strong background in rewilding bio-diversity monitoring and assessments, species reintroduction, land management, and restoration plan. So an awful lot of knowledge and, things that you can draw on if you’re really interested in it a little bit more about rewilding Britain it’s.

Sarah Riley: So it’s a charity that aims to catalyze rewilding across Britain, which personally I think is amazing by providing advice and support. So that’s, advice and support is there for you if you need it. So the network brings together rewilding projects and local rewilding groups across England, Scotland and Wales, but the principles, as I said, definitely apply across the world. So it includes landowners, land managers and Marine projects, as well as local groups and the network exists to help those who are rewilding or supporting rewilding. So it helps people to connect with each other and share experiences. And particularly I was interested today, with Saraj coming in and giving us a bit of an overview about all of this, but also specifically how it can help rewilding can help you boost your businesses and how you can think about it in those terms of, you know, you have a business, you have to make it profitable. There are things that we can do to support our natural environment that will also help boost what we’re doing as businesses that want to stay profitable.

Sara King: Great. So, yeah, so I’m going to provide a bit of an overview about what rewilding is, and then I’m going to bring some examples of how rewilding is complementing other nature-based enterprises. It is focused on Britain, but obviously, this can apply much further than that. There’s going to start with a bit of an introduction to what rewilding is actually, I’m an ecologist in terms of my background and the more I learn about nature and rewilding, the more complex I realize it is. this diagram just starts to show how ecosystems are a diverse system of threads on different elements and different habitats and different species. And they’re all intertwined together. And if you start to pull up one of those threads, you’ll see that everything else starts to come with it. and people are complex too, and communities and how people interact with the environment is also part of this.

Sara King: and as to the complexity. So what rewilding aims to do is to embrace this complexity and give space and opportunity for nature and for people to thrive and to lead the way in to allow those natural processes, to dominate our landscapes more and make them a little bit Wilder in terms of the definition of rewilding third rewilding Britain, defines rewilding as the large-scale restoration of ECOS ecosystems. To the point when nature can take care of itself and nature can lead the way. So it’s not focused on outcomes. We don’t say for this piece of land, we want to see wildflower Meadows for this piece of land. We want to see Heath land. We start to say, okay, well, we create the conditions that allow nature to take over and create these dynamic systems where habitat and the landscape might change from grassland through to scrub through to Woodland.

Sara King: And then maybe back to grassland again, as you have animals moving within that landscape, but it also encourages a balance between people and nature so that we can thrive together. And people are very much a part of rewarding. It, it’s not about excusing people from that landscape, but looking at how people can interact with nature, support it and make sure that we’re not damaging it in any way. Is that rewilding Britain, we have five principles of rewilding supporting people and nature together. It’s really important to make sure that rural communities have, and communities are all being supported by this nature, recovery and rewilding, as well as, as wildlife working at nature scale. So we can rewild at smaller scales, but really to allow these natural processes to dominate and take over, we need to look at landscape scale really and look at how individual sites can contribute to the wider rewilding and nature recovery across the landscape, letting nature lead.

Sara King: So I’ve already mentioned given the conditions to allow nature, to lead the way and to show us all the exciting and different things that happen, that, that we don’t expect to see creating resilient nature-based economies, is really important. And it sounds like a lot of your hair already working with nature-based economies and enterprises to the ecotourism that you’re doing, and then securing benefits for the long-term rewilding is very much long-term thinking we’re not talking about the next 10 years. We’re looking at more the next 30, 40, 50 years or the next generation. So it’s more long-term thinking and looking at how we can secure those benefits in the long term. So what’s the rewarding landscape look like. This is an illustration that we’ve taken of an Upland valley, in Britain. And we started to imagine how this could look if we allow nature to lead the way.

Sara King: So we can see that we’ve got this diversity and this complexity of different habitats, the rivers being allowed to move and meander through the landscape and it’s being given space to flood, when it’s needed. And then when you can see down in the bottom that beavers might be in this landscape, creating a dam, that’s creating these pools areas, as well as wetlands. We’ve got, a dynamic system of, of recovering Woodland that starting to creep up the mountainside. And we’ve also got species returns such as links, Wildcats, and an abundance of other species as well within this landscape. but we can also see that there are people within this landscape. It’s not excusing people from it. So we have nature friendly, ecosystem, enterprises. So things like sustainable forestry, ecotourism, wildlife watching, and, and, various other enterprises within this landscape.

Sara King: So it’s very much beneficial to people as well as nature. And one of the things that we’re trying to achieve through the network is to start to show that actually there’s a kaleidoscope of different approaches to rewilding wherever you are within the landscape. And within Britain, you will see different habitats emerging. So in Scotland, the rewilding approach might need more tree planting to create a seed source. wet trees have been absent for many years down in Dorset. You might see more hit than to habitat, starting to emerge, in the lowlands of Sussex, you might see a net style approach where you’ve got Longhorn cattle and native breed moving within a landscape and creating this wood pasture habitat. but also we can look at it at rewilding in terms of coastal and marine environments, and start to show that we can bring back those seagrasses.

Sara King: We can bring back help forest as well as oyster populations. So that’s really as capturing that local identity and that different approach to rewilding, what does this look like it’s very much, looking at a mosaic of different habitats within the landscape. So we foresee this area where we will have core rewilding blocks. We might have blocks of, nature, as designated sites as well. and within that, we would also have these stepping stone habitats and corridors that have nature-based enterprises within them. So things like forestry, fishing, ecotourism, but connect up these core areas to allow wildlife to move through the landscape. We know that there are benefits to rewilding and we are starting to see some of those benefits coming through in the data. the UK has actually ranked 189 out of 218 countries, but by diversity, intactness, that’s really low.

Sara King: so we have got an ecological emergency. We’ve got climate change affecting us as well. Now is the time to look at options to reverse that. So we know that rewilding benefits wildlife. it can also draw down carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it and vegetation and in soils, it helps improve resilience to allow habitats, to adapt to climate change. It can help to reverse biodiversity loss, but it can also support diverse, applied resilient nature-based economies, as well as improve our health and wellbeing. And we started to collect evidence through the network to show the impact that rewilding is having not only on wildlife but also on people and a recent analysis of over 20 sites across England showed that when we compared before rewilding and after rewilding, there was 42% increase in full-time equivalent jobs after rewilding. and these were more diverse jobs.

Sara King: So things like wildlife guys, tourism, catering, wedding venues, things like that. We also saw a nine-fold increase in volunteering opportunities. So this provides people with the opportunity to get involved and experience these rewilding projects. And we also find that all the sites still supported grazing animals because grazing animals do have a really key role within our landscape. So things like cattle, pigs, ponies, and deer, all worked together to create these mosaics. and we also help to build resilience in terms of the diversity of enterprises. So I’ve just included as some examples, here are some of the enterprises that have been built within rewilding projects from wildlife watching on our coast and in Marine environments to also wildlife watching within safaris and other opportunities within the rewilding sites, themselves food production, they providing some local food from the orchard. Also, wild meat from the livestock, education opportunities, wellbeing, is something that, that comes through quite strongly from the rewilding projects and getting educational trips out there to raise awareness, but also land management jobs. So things like, where you restoring dry stone walls and stockmen roles within, within the sites to help to manage the livestock.

Sara King: So I’m just going to go through some examples on the rewilding network. I am curious, about a link to the network page on the chat. So you can have a look at all the different projects that we’ve put on there. but we all stopped in to build this map of all the different projects across Britain and provide a profile of the different approaches that they’re taking so that we can really start to promote some of the excellent rewilding projects that are happening across Britain. I’m just going to take you through a few examples to show you what nature-based enterprises are starting to come through associated with those rewilding projects up in the lake district. we’ve got a large scale project on the network called RSPB Haweswater and this project is working in an Upland environment and it’s working with farmers to still produce food, but to also support these core rewilding areas.

Sara King: And they also have a network of ecotourism opportunities up there. They’ve got, Badger hides and wildlife highs that businesses can hire, or they can go on walks, to see the wildlife and to experience that rewarding area. They also have adventures. So they’re using the native fell ponies that they have across the project, which have cultural heritage associates with them to also do fell pony adventure. So they have businesses coming in, walking the site, camping on-site and experiencing the wild nature, and also learning about some of the cultural heritage that these animals have within the landscape. And they’re starting to build this visitor experience to increase the diversity of the enterprises that they have on this project to support the project in the long term.

Sara King: Now, if we had to the learnings of West Sussex, I don’t know when anyone down his head about the netlist state, but it is one of the pioneering projects of rewarding in Britain and went from an arable farm, that wasn’t really making any money was basically making a loss. and the basic payment scheme was the only thing that was keeping them propped up. And they went from arable and they changed their approach. Now they’ve got wood pasture there. They’ve got cattle, ponies, Tamworth, pigs, and deer, and now beavers and white stalk as well, roaming the project and creating this great complexity of wood pasture and wetland habitats, but they’ve also diversified their enterprise. So they produce wild meat. they also have glamping camping, shepherds, huts. they’ve got tree houses that support opportunities for people to go and save the night.

Sara King: And they’ve also diversified their offering in terms of wildlife safaris, educational visits. They do safaris on a whole range of topics where they invite people to come and learn about, re-introductions rewilding your garden, how to, manage stock. and, and also things, like watching the deer rut, or listening to Nightingales or watching the turtle doves, come in. So they really can show how there is this desire to experience rewilding and to have these guides to tools, but also to complement that with camping, glamping and ecotourism as well. And it’s just really important to note that they do limit the numbers that go to the Napa state to make sure that they’re not, increasing that footfall so much, that it has a negative impact on wildlife. So it’s always a balancing act between supporting these nature-based enterprises, but making sure they’re friendly to the wildlife, and the, rewilding that’s actually happening over to Norfolk now.

Sara King: and there’s a project called world can hell that’s been rewarding for about three years now posted the Sandringham estate. They also offer experiences. So they haven’t quite set up their campaign and glamping site yet. but they’ve also just had approval for a license for whiteout Eagle re-introduction on that project. They’ve got beavers on that site as well, so they can start to have these really iconic species that people will want to go and visit. and they have the nature-based enterprises to allow people to come and have these guides to talks and walks and to understand what rewatching is, what these special species are and their impact, on nature, but also just to get people out there and enjoy these landscapes. So it’s kind of education as well as diversifying their enterprises, going forward, we also cover, we’ve gotten an unwell so up in Scotland, we’ve got a medium scale project.

Sara King: so this is a slightly smaller project than the larger projects that we’ve seen before, where they are also, diversifying their enterprises through ecotourism. they’ve had beavers on their site, in the Scottish Highlands for about 15 years now. so the picture on the left you can see is a beaver dam with the pool sitting behind it, and they’d been doing beaver tools. but also they offer accommodation for visitors who can come and sit and enjoy the site, but also do some beaver watching in the evening as well. So ecotourism is very, very complimentary to the rewilding projects that are happening and they can help to underpin and support those projects going forward financially, as well as improve awareness, of what we want to get and what our landscape should look like. And some of these species that are missing maybe could be returned.

Sara King: We also have a Marine environment. and a lot of the time the Marine environments tend to go a bit unnoticed because it kind of out of sight out of mind. this is another project up in Scotland. So the community of errands, seabed coast, trust, which has chosen to coast, and this project has been working within, the coast of Aaron for probably about 15 years now. and they, as a community realized that the Marine environments were being, severely destroyed by trolling and unsustainable fishing practices. And they decided that they wanted to do something about it. So the community got together and they set up a no-take zone and this no-take zone, allowed nature to recover. And now they’ve got seagrass oysters, lobsters, octopus, a whole range of different Marine Marine species and habitats that have returned this coastline that now underpin a whole range of nature-based enterprises, such as diving, snorkelling, tourism education, but also support what we call an ecosystem services.

Sara King: So things like carbon sequestration, as well as, improving water quality and, and returning this precious wildlife back to that area. So it was really important that we also consider the Marine environment. And if you’ve got businesses close to Marine environments, then this is another opportunity to draw visitors in who want to go and experience rewilding in that area. So just, I’m going to wrap up now after kind of providing you with some examples and a bit of a flavour about rewilding. And I just want us to take some time to look to the future and the potential change that we might see over the next 10 years in Britain. we’re just entering the UN decade of ecosystem restoration, which has the hashtag generation restoration. And this is really saying that we know we’re in an ecological emergency. We know you’re, we’re facing climate change and returning nature and restoring nature.

Sara King: And rewilding gives us an opportunity to mitigate some of that change. And there’s a lot of work to try and see if we can return some of these iconic and lost species to our habitats. So things like seagrass restoration retarding, our kelp forest to our Marine environments, retailing, our native oysters. We’ve got white storks returning to Sussex through the Napa stage and a few other projects. And they’ve just had, I think, 15 chicks with fledging this year from the Napa state. And this is only the second year that they’ve had them reintroduced us. That’s a great success story. And thousands of people go to Napa every year to come and see the white stalk. We’ve got beavers returning to Britain. we’ve got so many different sites where beavers are coming back and people want to go and visit these areas. They want to see beavers in the landscape and to learn about them and explore.

Sara King: we might see links coming back into our, into British wildlife and landscapes, and we can start to have associated eco-tourism opportunities with the links, as well as the benefits they bring to controlling deer numbers, pine Martins, or returning to Wells. And there’s talk about bringing them back to England as well. Again, another iconic species that people want to see, and I’ve already mentioned white-tailed Eagles that they already introduced to the line of light. That’s now going to be a reintroduction in Norfolk at wild can hell. And we can already start to see an interest that’s being generated from people who want to go and experience these animals and learn more about them. So I think the future is really hopeful in terms of these rewarding projects coming up. And we’ve seen from the COVID pandemic, that people are reconnecting with nature and they want to go and connect with nature, and they want to experience these wild areas.

Sara King: So there’s lots of potentials, not just for restoring nature, but also creating these nature-based enterprises that can be supported by these rewarding landscapes. If anyone wants to find out more about rewilding, we’ve got a fantastic website, that’s got a whole range of resources from rewarding land to rewarding the seas to also looking at some of our missing species. And we also are building this with stories of what people are doing within the field and the different enterprises that are coming through from rewilding. So please do look at that. I also want us to talk about a campaign we’ve got at the moment around national parks, and we know that national parks are really important, for everyone really. And those, the people will be flocking to national parks this summer for their staycations, and to experience these landscapes, but really they’re failing on, on the wildlife side of things.

Sara King: And they’re not really supporting that diverse wildlife escapes that we should be seeing from our national parks. So we have a campaign at the moment calling on the government for wild and national parks and to make sure that we’re rewilding at least 10% of those national parks, but wildlife, but also people. And finally, I just want to leave you with the thought of, we have, a lot of crises at the moment with climate crises. We’ve got the pandemic, we’ve got the ecological crisis and it can feel a bit overwhelming, but actually, there are lots of stories of hope and rewilding gives us that story of hope to show how things can turn around and we can restore these wild areas to our landscapes. But today that we need to think big. We need to think landscape when he’s thinking long term, and we also need to act a little bit Wilder. so I just wanted to leave on that thought really.

Sarah Riley: Thank you. So I got a couple of questions that have come in. before that I’ve just got one thing I’d like to raise as well for our American friends. There is a, very amazing actually project in Colorado that is very similar to this. I don’t know if you know anything about that one, Sarah. but it’s a, it, it’s huge is a huge number of landowners investors. They’re buying up a huge, Watts of land. They’re introducing species, they’re putting it back to its original. so moving away from a pasture and farming land, putting it back to its original state. And, they are also talking about introducing glamping there. So that’s something to look up, for those in America, really an amazing project on a far greater scale than we could ever do in the UK because we don’t have so much space, but yes, I mean, it’s pretty much the size of the UK, I think is it’s the land space that they’re talking about. so that’s definitely one, that’s very interesting to have a look at, and I, I believe you can already stay on it. so that might be something you want to do. I was interested in the no-take zone, of that coast. What does no-take zone mean

Sara King: So essentially they designated an area where there’s no extraction at all. So no fishing takes place in that area. They have people going in there to do things like snorkelling and kind of leave no trace enterprises, but they don’t take anything from that. They have a fishing area around it. So a lot of the fish that recover within that, no takes over and then eventually move out. So it does benefit the fishing and the fishing community, but they just have this no tank zone to allow that area to recover. And we see a similar approach with the core rewilding areas on the land as well. So you essentially have these core areas where you have very limited, disturbance or enterprises. You wouldn’t do any forestry or anything like that in that area. You might do some ecotourism, but essentially it allows the wildlife to have the space and, and lower disturbance levels to be able to recover. And then you have these other areas around it, where you see this spill out of nature into those areas.

Sarah Riley: So Jo, you have the first question. Can you say your question

Jo: Yeah, my side. well, firstly, I’d like to ask Anna if she’d like to swap her 69 8, cause for my two and a half acres if that’s not an option, two and a half acres. So that includes the glamping unit. So not massive. what is I could do, I’m thinking more air-based birds things because obviously, it is restricted

Sara King: Somewhat. Yeah. Did you say it’s mostly grassland

Jo: Well, it’s kind of a field which I now call a paddock albeit with no animals in it. and then the seven units are probably going in about an acre. So really there’s a spare acre maximum on a slope, no option for water. So it’s restricted, but I’d like to do something,

Sara King: so that when you’re working smaller areas, you tend to have to do more human intervention. so, but rewilding to be given the space to, to have these natural processes leading the way you need to look at much larger areas. So if you’re looking at a smaller area, I would probably recommend maybe thinking about something that maybe takes a little bit more intervention, but you could do things like, trying to improve some of the wildflowers in the area. So maybe I’m creating some disturbance on the ground and then maybe overfeeding with some locally sourced, a wildflower seed or some green hay or something just to try and get that diversity within, within the sward. And then you can do things like cutting it at the end of summer. So after the wildflowers have flowered, then take that off the land to reduce the nutrient levels.

Sara King: And that will bring back more wildflowers in the following year. and you can also maybe introduce things like yellow rattle to reduce those nutrient levels down because the lower, the nutrient levels are the less dominant the grass is, will be. And so you’ll get more of this wildflower swallowed. So I say, if you’re working, it’s not quite rewilding, cause it’s a little bit more human intervention and you’re looking at more of an outcome, but when you’re looking at smaller scales, I would probably recommend looking at something like that. Maybe put a few trees in there if you’ve got some space, that will provide some good shelter for bird species, but also small mammals. I would probably look at taking that approach because if you step back at that level and just let it go and you don’t have the animals in the landscape to be able to cause that disturbance that caused that diversity.

Sara King: The other thing you could look at, your property, if the is possibly too small, but for some of these smaller projects, you can look to maybe speak to someone, a farmer in the local area who might be able to lend you a pig or a cow or something for a short period of time to create that disturbance. And there’s a project down in Devon. That’s just had two pigs on their land for 21 days in what area of it to start to create that disturbance. And then they take them off again because they don’t have enough space to support them. So you could potentially look at that just to try and break up the score a little bit and start to get those natural processes flowing. the other thing you can do is things like put some camera traps out and see what you’ve got using your site.

Sara King: And that’s a great engagement tool for visitors as well because you can say, look at, look at the wildlife that’s moving around that maybe they can’t see and they can start to interact with camera traps is a great way to start to show what you’ve got. And for you to also understand what’s maybe on your site as well, if you’ve got an improved pasture, that’s really species-rich in terms of the herb diversity. I wouldn’t necessarily say that you should start rebuilding that straight away because that’s really good for biodiversity. So we tend to use the term protect the best and rewild the rest. So you’ve got really rich species-rich Crosland that in itself is quite a rare habitat and it provides opportunities for things like pollinators and stuff like that. So I would probably say identify the areas where you’ve got really good habitat like that.

Sara King: Maybe keep managing it for that particular habitat. And we’ve got a lot of rewilding projects that still have nature reserves designations within them. And they still don’t do that outcome management because it’s such a good habitat. They want to make sure they can maintain it. We don’t want to lose that habitat necessarily, but I would also then look at what areas maybe aren’t so good. And aren’t say species-rich, probably starting with the Woodlands and the area around the Brook. So any watercourses or ponds or anything like that, that’s a really great place to start because you tend to get quite quick results. So if you’ve got natural Woodland on your side, that’s a seed source for natural regeneration. So I would say if there are some areas around that Woodland, that you can allow the Woodland to start to expand out, that might be a good place to start to expand and create that mosaic of habitats.

Sara King: And if you’re looking at things like, Brooke, are there any ways that you can improve the area around that Brooke, can you leave a buffer around it Can you maybe put some Woody debris in the, in the Brooklyn pretend to be a beaver and start to create some diversity that way are there any areas where you can reconnect it to, the habitat around it to allow it to expand out into some wetlands And those will be really quick wins to start to see how the land not only reacts to that but also how biodiversity then reacts to it as well. so I’d say definitely keep going with the best of the kind of wildflower Meadows and the unimproved grass, and then keep that going. But maybe also then have a look at other areas that maybe you can let, to go a little bit wild, see how they do.

Sara King: and then just start to see how it reacts. So I always kind of refer back to the map estate and they actually did an introduce animals on that site for eight years. They let the land rest for eight years before they then brought the animals in there. It’s not a case of completely shifting to cattle horses and picking straight away. You need to start to understand how your land then reacts to different approaches and maybe pull back a little bit in scenarios. So it’s very much a kind of phased approach to it on the financing side of things. We have a team who are influencing policies, so they’ve actually managed to get rewilding in the Elms scheme. we’re also working hard to get natural regeneration and a lot of the grant schemes. So there’s the climate for nature fund, which is something that we influenced that has quite a good funding for tree planting, but also for natural regeneration of Woodlands.

Sara King: So definitely check that out because it covers a lot of the capital works. but in the meantime, before alums, there’s also a countryside stewardship scheme. So there are things like wood pasture that provides quite, quite good financial incentives for that kind of approach. So yeah, just kind of understand. I mean, I’m sure you do on your land, but just kind of stepping back and understanding where are the best bits, keeping those as best wherever the areas that maybe we can start to regenerate a little bit more and then just kind of watching and seeing what happens and where the natural processes are working or whether there might need to be some tweaks. So she, she put like, you know, I’m sure you’re all aware. They liked to lawnmowers, so they cut the sward quite rarely close. and so they’re great for things like if you’ve got species-rich grassland or grassland that you’re trying to protect, they’re great for that because they helped take the nutrients off and create this kind of hub rich sward.

Sara King: But if you’re looking at rewilding, we tend not to have sheep because they’re not really, they’re not the native hub of all. They’re not replacing one of the last native herbals semi’s cattle as a proxy and a replacement for the last extinct aurochs, which were the really big wild cattle we use ponies, for the extinct top and wild horse. And we use pigs as a replacement for walk ball. So those tend to be the ones for rewilding that we use because they create this diverse sward alongside the deer. So we tend not to use sheep. so we get a lot of flack sometimes for being the people who don’t want a sheep in our uplands. but that’s the kind of ecological reason behind it. It’s not because we’ve got an issue with sheep. It’s more the function that they have in the environment

Sarah Riley: Those poor sheep

Sara King: But loved.

Sarah Riley: Thank you, Danny. Yes, you’ve got a question. Okay. So now I’m going to have to stop there because then the discussion went into detail about individuals, pieces of land and rewilding, and all those other projects, which of course I can include on the podcast, even though I’d love to. And so I hope you enjoyed what you heard and were able to get some benefit from that and apply it to your own land, your own business. One of the things that I do realize when I speak to people who are either developing their gambling business or planning to develop it or are already running it or whatever, is that land management is a really huge part of their daily life, whether it’s a small business, whether it’s a larger business, whether they’ve got a few acres or hundreds of acres, land management is a big issue in a positive way.

Sarah Riley: It can be really turned around to help the local environment, the local species, and also to bring back all kinds of wildlife. As we heard there from Sarah King, I want to say thank you so much to Sarah for giving us her time to give advice to the club members. And if you want to find out more about becoming a member of the club, then do please go on over to  And that will give you the information you need. We’d love to have you join us if you fancy it. In the meantime, I hope you continue to listen to the podcast. Come on back here and give me your input. If you’ve got any thoughts about what you’d like to hear on the podcast in the future, then please leave me a review and pop it in there. I’m always reading the reviews. I love hearing from you. If you found this helpful, please reach out, say thank you to Sarah by popping a review, wherever you listen to this podcast on your podcast platform. And, I’d love to hear your thoughts if certainly, if you want to hear more about welding, please do let me know because then I’ll seek out the experts and we’ll learn about it together. So hope you have a fantastic day. See her soon. Take care. Bye-bye

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