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Wild Ken Hill in Heacham takes part in World Rewilding Day as they share what happens at their 1,000-acre rewilding site





Across the world, conservationists and groups will come together today to raise awareness of rewilding on an internationally recognised day.

But what does rewilding mean and what is being done to help restore nature in West Norfolk?

At Wild Ken Hill Nature Reserve, which sits between Heacham and Snettisham, the team works throughout the year to ensure that wildlife thrives.

The work of beavers in woodland at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
The work of beavers in woodland at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh

They are taking part in World Rewilding Day, which takes place today, with the international motto “hope into action”.

A total of 1,000 acres have been dedicated to rewilding at the site since 2019, which is home to a number of animals which help restore the environment so that nature can thrive in their own way.

Founder of Wild Ken Hill Dominic Buscall said: “Rewilding Day is a relatively new day and is celebrated by rewilding across the world.

Andrew Waddinson and founder of Wild Ken Hill Dominic Buscall. Picture: Michael Fysh
Andrew Waddinson and founder of Wild Ken Hill Dominic Buscall. Picture: Michael Fysh

“It is a unique movement and it is global. It is happening across all continents.”

He added: “The movement has a big following, and includes the marine environment too.

“Here at Wild Ken Hill we have our own rewilding project which is 1,000 acres, compared to those across the world ours is quite a small project.

“We are chiming in. What is special about our project is that it is working to restore nature and biodiversity to help in future with the impacts of climate change.”

Andrew Waddinson from Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Andrew Waddinson from Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh

Rewilding land is typically left alone so that animals can do their own work to help encourage wildlife to return to the area.

Staff at Wild Ken Hill have seen examples of this already.

Tamworth pigs are part of Wild Ken Hill's rewilding scheme. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs are part of Wild Ken Hill's rewilding scheme. Picture: Michael Fysh

Beavers were introduced to the site in 2020 in the woodland area. Since then, a dam-like environment has been created and beavers have gnawed at trees which has increased lighting – with more dragonflies, frogs and kingfishers seen in the area.

Another example is how Tamworth pigs which live on the land turn soil over, which then exposes seeds that could have been in the ground for decades.

Cattle also eat fresh shoots and Exmoor wild ponies eat drier grass – acting as natural lawnmowers.

Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh

Rewilders say they are taking action to help the climate crisis. It is said that rewilding can reduce the amount of fires, floods and droughts – reversing nature’s decline.

“I think there is a real urgency. We have got to act now, but there is hope,” added Dominic.

As part of their rewilding plan, Wild Ken Hill is also letting trees, shrubs and flowers plant themselves through natural regeneration – all aimed at creating a functioning ecosystem.

The work of beavers in woodland at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
The work of beavers in woodland at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh

The team also engage in a number of other projects including chalk stream restoration and regenerative farming.

It opens to members of the public to allow them to take part in themed workshops and guided walks around the site.

For more information, visit Wild Ken Hill’s website.

Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill, foals were born just last week. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill, foals were born just last week. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Exmoor Ponies at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
The work of beavers in woodland at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
The work of beavers in woodland at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs are part of Wild Ken Hill's rewilding scheme. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs are part of Wild Ken Hill's rewilding scheme. Picture: Michael Fysh
Reporter Lucy Carter speaking to Dominic Buscall, founder of Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Reporter Lucy Carter speaking to Dominic Buscall, founder of Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh
Tamworth pigs at Wild Ken Hill. Picture: Michael Fysh

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