Our Wilderness Wetland
Our dedicated Sustainability Team at Daylesford Organic shares an overview of our Wilderness Wetland project and why this part of our farm is so special.
Fifteen years ago, we took a 17-acre field out of rotation on the farm and reinstated a natural flood meadow alongside the River Evenlode.
Meadow habitats were once an important feature of Britain’s farmland, allowing rivers to flood the valley naturally and providing mixed grassland for livestock in the drier months.
Our ‘Wilderness Wetland’ is managed in a traditional way: inundation in autumn, draining in spring, and grazing in the summer. These seasonal changes encourage multiple plant species to thrive, creating pockets of different habitats for birds, invertebrates, amphibians and insects.
The project has resulted in a significant boost in biodiversity – more than 40 bird species can now be found in the wetland, including rare sightings of peregrine falcon and osprey.
Increased floral diversity is also apparent from the proliferation of wildflowers including ragged robin and oxeye daisy.
The benefits of flood meadows extend beyond the field boundaries – allowing the river to overflow into the meadow slows the passage of flood water, which can help to mitigate flooding and its impacts further downstream. Excess water stored in the wetland is then released in drier conditions, allowing the farm and the river habitats to survive droughts.
Wetlands like ours are an example of progressive farming in which the productivity of the land benefits grazing cattle and sheep, and they in turn enhance the meadow habitat for the species that rely upon it.
The success of this project highlights the part that farmers can play in nature restoration and recovering our lost biodiversity.
Our Sustainable Solutions are the actions we believe need to be taken to help solve the climate and ecological crises and create lasting change for our world. We've divided them into three areas offocus: to regenerate, to protect and to inspire.