Recovery scheme for wildlife at Nunwell

Beautiful painted lady butterfly in summer garden on purple flower petals macro

A scheme to support wildlife recovery on the Isle of Wight has been extended with the acquisition of 355 acres of land.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has just completed the land deal at Nunwell, near Brading. The Oglander family, owners of the land on the family-run Nunwell Estate, approached the Trust and, with funding support from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the land was acquired.

Little Duxmore Farm was also acquired by the Trust in 2020 and is proving to be a huge success. It has seen wildlife bounce back with 36 bird species recorded, including nationally threatened species. Invertebrates have made a recovery with 19 butterfly species, and six of the UKs ‘Big Eight’ bumblebee species. Internationally important plants have also been recorded.

Debbie Tann, CEO of the Trust, said: “Nitrate pollution is having a detrimental impact on some of our most protected marine habitats and the wildlife they support. Our nature-based solution works by acquiring former farmland and rewilding it to remove the pollution, create space for nature and support nature’s recovery.

“Nitrate pollution is only one of the problems our freshwater and marine habitats face. We’ll continue to campaign for wildlife protection and against damaging proposals, and we’ll continue to push for stronger policy and regulation.”

Anne Marie Mountifield, Chief Executive of the Solent LEP, said: “This is an important project for the Solent LEP, in working together with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to find solutions for sustainable economic development.”

The Trust will continue to work with partners on the Island to champion farming with nature, ensuring farmers are supported to adopt wildlife-friendly methods and rewarded for embracing financially sustainable business models that deliver for farming, food production and the environment.