Run time: 75 mins

Mapping the regeneration of over-farmed and polluted land given over to the wild, this is a welcome story about nature’s ability to just get on with it.


This a documentary about the rewilding project at the Knepp estate in West Sussex. The land belongs to Sir Charles Burrell, who inherited the five-and-a-half square mile estate. The plan was to follow in the family tradition of farming, but the heavy clay soil at Knepp didn’t suit modern intensive methods so, in 2000, £1.5m in debt, Burrell and his conservationist wife, conveniently named Isabella Tree, sold the cows and let everything go to seed.


Looking at Knepp’s unruly landscape today, what’s startling is the realisation that countryside as most of us understand it isn’t actually countryside as nature intended.  Knepp is not postcard pretty but its wild beauty is habitat heaven. Species virtually extinct elsewhere are thriving: from butterflies to turtle doves and nightingales. Amazingly, the first wild storks born in the UK in 600 years hatched at Knepp.


This delightful film is a heartwarming speck of biodiversity; good news among the depressing headlines.


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