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Talk by Isabella Tree

Thanks to so many of you for coming to this inspirational Talk given by Isabella Tree. Quite a crowd.!


ct are playing in the planned Wildlife Corridor that will be created by the rewilding of the Adur River.

This will be of great benefit to us in Steyning, Bramber and Beeding considerably reducing the risk of flooding here as flood plains would be incorporated. KNEPP’S BEAVERS are already at work on their stretch! It will mean that Steyning will be connected to Knepp by this wildlife corridor making sense of all the

environmental work done here in Steyning and considerably boosting its effectiveness.

Isabella was pleased to hear SFT are going to plant a hedge at St Mary's House, Bramber with the kind permission of Peter and Roger this Autumn. This will connect our STEYNING WILDLIFE CORRIDORS TO THE ADUR. A tributary of the river runs through the grounds. We were there on Saturday admiring the wonderful number of butterflies encouraged by the owners and their beautiful mature native trees.

It reminded us of the discovery by our friend Neil Hulme of the LARGE TORTOISESHELL BUTTERFLY breeding in this country for the first time in 70 years at Knepp.



Neil encourages SFT to plant Buckthorn, a host plant for the Brimstone Butterfly. SFT will also be planting another link hedge in Bramber at Toni and Kevin Bovis’, enabled by Nick Mills - many thanks to all.



We already have another corridor hedge network close to the Adur at Shona and Richard Halsall’s, coming from the hedge SFT planted and are looking after at Abbey Road; thanks to the Parish Council as it is their land.

Another wildlife corridor Isabella talked about was the ‘Weald to Waves’ (planning quite far advanced) linking Ashdown Forest and Knepp to the sea at Climping. There is an article in THE DOWNSMAN the newsletter of the Friends of the South Downs, with its excellent description of this scheme and WILDLIFE CORRIDORS, as well as this article in The Guardian. There was also talk of the Arun being rewilded.

Obviously all these schemes need an enormous amount of co-operation with a lot of people and landowners working together. If all this visionary work comes to fruition and including the Sussex Wildlife Trust's wonderful work on restoring the kelp beds for carbon capture that Isabella mentioned, hopefully this would mean that Sussex would become a beacon of hope for biodiversity in this country, showing, at last, a considerable gain.

Jo mentioned in her thanks to Isabella the warning in the Environment Agency’s report Working with Nature unveiled at an event hosted by Green Alliance on 12th July. Sir James Bevan, their Chief Executive, spoke about the shocking loss of biodiversity which could pose a risk to human survival if it continues. 61% loss since 1970. He said we must all work together to turn this around.

Because of our hard-working committee all working together we took £409; many thanks to all for supporting this event. Also to the Steyning Society for giving us the ticket money from the postponed event we were very happy to honour those tickets and the free tickets for their members.

We are able to give £550, including a private donation, to the Knepp Wildland Foundation to help them continue their valuable work.

Many thanks to our lovely Steyning Bookshop for their support of this event,


selling books and tickets etc. Do look in there for Vol 2 of Isabella’s children’s picture book in September (When the Storks Came Home), and the big Wilding Handbook in Spring 2023. Do order your books through them so much better than Amazon.

There was also a very good discussion at question time about food production and waste in this country. There was a wonderful picture of cattle grazing happily in their wooded pasture, so much more natural environment for them. SFT is getting involved in supporting regenerative farming by planting hedgerows and hopefully trees on local farmland.

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