Founder of Knepp Launches Nattergal to Complete Restoration of British Wildlife

, August 31, 2023

Following the success of 20 years of rewilding across 1,400 hectares of Knepp Estate in Sussex, Charlie Burrell has launched Nattergal to platform rewilding efforts across the British Isles. Nattergal seeks to respond to the depletion of UK wildlife, 50% loss since 1970 (the bottom 10% among all nations globally, and last among G7 nations).

Using learnings from Knepp, Nattergal aims to direct a shortfall in funding nature by converting low-grade farmland into habitat for nature. The Green Finance Institute estimates we need to spend £8.8 billion a year to slow the loss of species in the UK. Government has committed around £2.7 billion towards this, which leaves a spending gap of around £6.1 billion to be covered by the private sector.

The team includes Burrell as Non-Exec Chairman and Archie Struthers as CEO, formerly BlackRock and Standard Life/Aberdeen.

A first, 617-hectare site is underway in Lincolnshire – Boothby Wildland – formerly an arable farm. Following a three-year “staggered retreat” from arable farming, the farm will align with a 1900s map of 98 field boundaries (the farm was made of 32 larger fields at the point of acquisition). The restoration of 2.5km of the headwaters of the River Glen will involve including blocking, meandering and breaking land drains.

Seed sources shall be boosted through spreading green hay, rich with grass and wildflower seed from local Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust nature sites and SSSIs. Nature monitoring will also be introduced to ensure a baseline of natural capital is audited, compliant with emerging markets for biodiversity, carbon and water.

Field margins at Boothby in Lincolnshire

A second site was acquired in December 2022 – 292 hectares in the Norfolk Fens – High Fen Wildland.

Learn more at Note accommodation at Boothby – Airbnb profile