Farming in Partnership with Nature – A New Natural History of Selborne

This study is published after five years of painstaking data collection by our team of dedicated volunteers, collating around 10,000 species records across the animal kingdom in the Selborne Landscape Partnership (SLP) area (5,600 hectares), much of which falls within the South Downs National Park.

Debbie Miller, the lead author says: “We hear a lot of negativity about the state of Britain’s biodiversity, so it’s nice to share some really positive news that wildlife is flourishing on farms here in the SLP. It’s thriving because the area is being managed sensitively to retain and restore a range of habitats for farmland wildlife, creating greater connectivity across farm boundaries. In this commercially farmed landscape, farmers locally have worked really hard to create spaces for nature to thrive – collectively sharing skills and knowledge to better manage their land for wildlife”

The farmers have introduced a long list of conservation measures to help retain or create wildlife habitats. The SLP area now boasts 25.1km (over 15 miles) of restored hedgerow, 151km (93 miles) of tussocky field edges, 74 hectares of flower-rich habitat and has started restoration work on some of its 100 ponds. Wildflower planting has also taken place as part of the South Downs National Park’s Bee Lines initiative and the farmers’ aim is to create up to 3 hectares of high-quality, flower-rich habitat per 100 hectares for pollinators.

The full report can be read here