Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust last week secured 100 acres of farmland in the East Wight, with plans to transform the area into a rich wildlife haven.
Until now, Little Duxmore has been principally an arable farm, producing crops like maize, however the Wildlife Trust hopes that the area will be transformed over the coming months and years, with the natural restoration of vital habitat for struggling farmland birds such as yellowhammer, skylark and even nightingale and cirl bunting. The farm could also become home to a huge variety of other wildlife.
This new wildlife site marks the start of the Trust’s rewilding journey and is a significant step towards their vison for a Wilder Wight. The farm land sits close to several other Wildlife Trust nature reserves and will form part of an expanding nature recovery network on the Island – creating the rich, connected landscape that wildlife needs to survive and thrive.
At the end of 2019, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust published its new ten year plan, WILDER 2030. The plan sets out the overall aim to secure a third of land and sea for wildlife and to double the Trust’s own estate across the two counties in the coming decade. The Wildlife Trust also wants to see many more people joining forces to back nature’s recovery and become part of ‘Team Wilder’
The Trust believes that the Isle of Wight offers incredible opportunities to lead the charge towards a wilder future and their ambitious plans for the Island include the introduction of beavers and other missing species.
Debbie Tann, Chief Executive at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said “We are very excited to get the keys to Little Duxmore Farm. This blank canvas, which has been intensively farmed over the years, will soon be an amazing, dynamic and buzzing place – brimming with colour and life. We can’t wait to see what nature will bring back, with us here to provide a helping hand.
“We are also really looking forward to welcoming local people here and offering the chance to experience, connect with and learn about nature through our education work and other opportunities .
“The Island really is at the vanguard of our vision for a much wilder future and today we are one step closer to achieving that aim.”
The new site at Little Duxmore is also the first example of the new type of ‘nature based solutions’ that the Trust is offering, which will include opportunities for private and public organisations as well as individuals to invest in nature as a way of reducing pollution, carbon or combatting the biodiversity or climate crises. More details of the Trust’s natural solution for nitrate pollution can be found here.