Knepp Estate Visit

by Sonali Mallapur

Spending a warm sunny afternoon watching animals and birds sounds much more delightful and invigorating than being confined to an office desk, don’t you think?

On the 6th of June, the terra firma team had the privilege of spending their afternoon on the Knepp estate, situated south of Horsham. It is a piece of land owned by the Burrell family for over 220 years. Recent efforts have been made towards a rewilding initiative, prompted by the land’s history of intense farming.

The core objective of this endeavour was to facilitate natural processes, resulting in a noticeable ecological transformation over time. Initiated in 2001, and since then, the project has led to a significant increase in the populations of nightingales, peregrine falcons, turtle doves and purple emperor butterflies all of which are considered rare species.

Accompanied by the project developers, the team embarked on a 16-mile journey along the route to closely observe the effects of the rewilding project. We had the chance to observe some free- roaming animals like cattle, deer, and even a few reptiles, including snakes! The white storks, formerly known as the breeding bird of Sussex and Knepp could be seen resting atop tall trees.

We had first hand experience of witnessing wildlife cohabiting with their natural surroundings. This goes to show that nature can regenerate and enhance a place when left undisturbed. The walk concluded with a delightful spread of elderflower cordial, coffees, and home-made brownies. It was an exceptionally fulfilling experience for everyone involved.


Guide to Visiting the Knepp Estate | West Sussex (

Ecology of Rewilding – Knepp

Knepp Castle Estate Rewilding Project | Rewilding Britain