Rewilding Project Leads to Return of Critically Declined Bird Species

A rewilding project undertaken by the Dorset Wildlife Trust has resulted in the resurgence of several bird species that are currently experiencing critical declines. The project, known as Wild Woodbury, has successfully attracted seven bird species listed on the Conservation Concern Red List, providing hope for their conservation.

Located near Bere Regis, the 170-hectare former agricultural site has been transformed by the charity since its acquisition in 2021. The efforts of the Dorset Wildlife Trust have led to the documentation of over 1,600 species on the nature reserve, surpassing last year’s count by 300.

Among the notable bird sightings are the Nightingale, greenfinch, grey partridge, marsh tit, skylark, nightjar, and tree pipit. These species, all classified as Red List species, have significantly benefited from the rewilding project and their return is a positive sign for their survival.

A key aspect of the initiative involved the re-naturalization of the River Sherford, resulting in the creation of a wetland habitat that now attracts lapwing, golden plover, and common snipe. This wetland is providing a vital breeding and foraging ground for these bird species.

Future plans for Wild Woodbury include the introduction of grazing animals to diversify the habitat and further enhance biodiversity. By creating a mosaic of habitats, the rewilding project aims to support a wider range of species and improve the overall ecological balance of the area.

This rewilding success story serves as an inspiration for other conservation projects around the world. It highlights the positive impact that restoration efforts can have on critically declined species and emphasizes the importance of preserving and restoring natural habitats to safeguard biodiversity.

– Rewilding: A conservation approach that aims to restore and protect natural ecosystems, allowing them to function without human interference.
– Conservation Concern Red List: A list that categorizes species based on their conservation status, with the Red List indicating species that are at high risk of extinction.

– Dorset Wildlife Trust
– Wild Woodbury – Dorset Wildlife Trust
– The RSPB Wildlife Charity