Sustainable Cities and Communities

Knepp Threatened by New Housing Development Proposal

The globally important rewilding site is under threat from a potential 3500-home development that the local council propose to build next door.

Knepp rewilding estate contains 1400 hectares of some of the most widely biodiverse habitat in the UK. It is deemed one of the most important rewilding sites in the world, and is the subject of one of our short films in the Rewilding video series in collaboration with the University of Sussex.

The estate provides a refuge for some of Europe’s rarest and most endangered flora and fauna, including rare white storks, and acts as an invaluable research centre for the science of rewilding.

However, the estate is now under serious threat from the local council’s plans to build a vast housing estate right next door, cutting off natural corridors for wildlife between Knepp and other local wild spaces.

Isabella Tree, author of ‘Rewilding’ and co-owner of the infamous estate, told The Guardian “It’s looking more and more likely that the site closest to us – the one right on our border – will be the one they [the council] could go for. If wildlife can’t move in response to temperature rises, then it’s doomed to extinction. Knepp is a biodiversity hotspot and, at the moment, our species are spilling out into the countryside and green spaces around us. If we build these homes, then basically Knepp becomes yet another island. It completely isolates us.”

Whilst council representatives have stated that ‘no decisions have yet been taken’, the plans have understandably caused unrest amongst environmental activists and expert ecologists alike.

You can sign the main petitions in support of the Knepp Estate via the links below:

Save West Grinstead


Posted by Claire Edwards 23 March 2021

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