Knepp Castle Wilding Project and Safaris

Whether you are a keen wildlife enthusiast, an avid rambler or just interested in learning more about the countryside, the Knepp Estate has something for you.

The estate has a wide selection of wildlife safaris and workshops available between April and October covering a variety of topics from bats and butterflies to storks and nightingales.  

Just over 5 miles away from Chase Farm Glamping is the internationally renowned Wildland Project at the Knepp Castle Estate in Dial Post, near Shipley.  The owners, Charlie Burrell and Isabella Tree, have worked together with various advisors on this pioneering project, and transformed what had once been a 3,500 acre intensively farmed estate into one of the most successful wilding habitats in the UK.

The project combines the use of free-roaming grazing animals (long horn cattle, fallow deer, Tamworth pigs and wild ponies) with the restoration of natural water courses to create a dramatic boost to the estate’s wildlife in both numbers and species.  Over the years this has included the appearance of extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies, which are now breeding and successfully increasing in number here.  

Along with the free-roaming grazing animals that have driven habitat creation, the estate also has a programme for the reintroduction of wildlife that once graced these lands centuries before, such as the white stork.  This has added to the ‘complex mosaic of habits’ across the estate.

There are also plenty of footpaths both in and around the estate for the public to enjoy all year round, just remember to bring wellies during the wetter winter months.  The Sussex clay can be very sticky and porridge-like when wet (and concrete when dry)!

The vision of the Knepp Wildland Project is radically different to conventional nature conservation in that it is not driven by specific goals or target species. Instead, its driving principle is to establish a functioning ecosystem where nature is given as much freedom as possible. The aim is to show how a ‘process-led’ approach can be a highly effective, low-cost method of ecological restoration - suitable for failing or abandoned farmland - that can work to support established nature reserves and wildlife sites, helping to provide the webbing that will one day connect them together on a landscape scale.

Chase Farm Glamping is within walking distance of the Knepp Estate (1.5 hours) for keen walkers, otherwise its just a 10 minute drive to the walkers’ car park on the estate, and a useful walking map is available for the public to download.

There are also plenty of footpaths both in and around the estate for the public to enjoy all year round, just remember to bring wellies during the wetter winter months.  The Sussex clay can be very sticky and porridge-like when wet (and concrete when dry)!

For those who like to source organic free-roaming, pasture-fed beef, pork and venison, it is now possible to purchase directly from the estate at Knepp Wild Range Meat.  In addition, there is a selection of merchandise to choose from, including the best selling book, ‘Wilding‘ by Isabella Tree, which tells the remarkable story of how the project came about.