Wilder Horsham District partnership forges ahead to protect wildlife

Edition: Winter 2020/2021

Wilder Horsham District is a unique five-year partnership between the Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust, working to deliver a Nature Recovery Network for the Horsham District.

New members of the Wilder Horsham District Team stand either side of a tree

The project will support residents, businesses and landowners to better understand and deal with our pressing environmental and climate issues.

A first partnership of this kind in the South East, we will work closely with local communities and landowners  to reverse the decline in species and habitats, and enrich the natural environment.

A warm welcome

The partnership has been bolstered recently by the introduction of two new staff members whose sole focus will be the Horsham District.

Richard Black has been appointed as the project’s Landowner Adviser. Richard has a Zoology degree and a PhD specialising in birds in the South Pacific! He has worked with landowners on conservation projects across several continents and is passionate about the rich and varied Sussex landscape. He has experience working with farmers and landowners on the South Downs and in the Arun Valley to provide habitats for declining farmland species, particularly arable nesting waders.

Chloe Harrison has also recently joined us as the project’s Community Support Officer.

A local to the Horsham District, Chloe is acutely aware that across her lifetime, our local species and landscapes have been in decline.

She sees this project as a unique opportunity to preserve and enhance Horsham District’s biodiversity and landscapes. As a recent Zoology graduate and a volunteer for local sustainability campaigns, she  brings a broad knowledge and skill set in wildlife conservation and communication to the role.

Wilder Horsham District marks a bold commitment to reverse the decline in species and habitats, and Chloe and Richard are excited to be part of such an ambitious and impactful project.

Managing local wildlife on our sites

The good news is that the Council is already making some great progress in managing local wildlife on its own countryside sites.

Warnham Local Nature Reserve, Chesworth Farm, and Monkmead Woods are all principally managed to enhance our wildlife. The following projects are in plan:

  • Changing mowing regimes where possible to create areas of longer meadow grass and encourage wildflowers.
  • Minimising use of herbicides and encouraging our plant suppliers to swap to non-peat based compost, if they don’t already use them.
  • Reducing use of seasonal planting and introducing more perennial, pollinator friendly planting.
  • When a tree needs to be felled, leaving a standing stump to create a dead-wood habitat for beetles and other insects.

Further information

For more information about Wilder Horsham District, please visit the Horsham District Council website.

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