Thursday 31st Mar 2022

Lecture on Rewilding




As part of our series of Ridley Lectures, on 22 March we were delighted to welcome Isabella Tree, an award-winning author and conservationist who lives and works on the world-renowned Knepp Estate.

Deputy Grecian (Year 12 pupil) Mei Mei wrote the following review of the lecture:

Isabella Tree’s lecture on rewilding Knepp estate allowed the audience of Deputy Grecians (Year 12) to strengthen their existing interests in conservation and environmental care with knowledge of real-world activities. The talk provided an overview of some of the challenges and opportunities associated with conservation work, covering a variety of subjects including sustainable agriculture, native endangered species, and, of course, the rewilding of her home estate. As a day pupil growing up in Horsham, I have often walked in the grounds of Knepp Castle, and the storks that she has reintroduced to her land sometimes fly over my back garden. I have seen the local results of her work and feel a great personal investment.

For it to have real impact, her work needs to be augmented by that of others. She cannot stand alone. This is the challenge that CH must address; what can the School do to help? There are many options, ranging from the simple and immediately attainable through to more ambitious and longer-term initiatives. Development of a wildflower meadow in an existing quad, echoing the steps taken by King’s College Cambridge, is an example of the former. The creation of a wildlife corridor on the CH grounds adjacent to the Knepp estate could represent the latter.

Humanity at its best is supremely imaginative and resourceful. To tackle the environmental challenge, we will need to express these attributes to their fullest.