This article was originally published on Positive News

A hands-off approach at the once intensively farmed estate in West Sussex has paid huge dividends for wildlife and the land alike

Cycle through the Sussex Weald on a breezy spring day, and you’ll be pedalling through a trim and tidy countryside. Neatly clipped hedges bound close-cropped fields, grazed as often by ponies as cows (this is the home counties, after all). It’s a neat, well-manicured land.

Then, all of a sudden, somewhere south of Horsham a great scruffiness strikes the eye. Hedges seem wildly overgrown, bursting with May blossom, invading meadows shabby with tussocks. There are great clumps of brambly thorn, with slender young oaks emerging shyly from the top as they spring into leaf. It’s gloriously, bewilderingly untidy.

…”If you’re not focused on a goal, if you’re not concerned about a particular species, but just let nature do its thing, then extraordinary things can happen”.

…It isn’t only wildlife that benefits. Letting natural processes take over has wider impacts, too. Overworked soil begins to recover; water becomes cleaner; floods become fewer as the ground soaks up moisture; and the whole landscape becomes a much-needed carbon sink. Left entirely to itself, it would eventually turn to forest…”

Read on at: Positive News.