Reviving nature in this deeply historic landscape
Giving wildlife space
The Forest of Selwood is rich in nature; a landscape of flower-rich hay meadows, ancient wood pastures and parkland, woodland and hedgerow, boasting ancient and veteran trees. It is home to many rare species, such as dormice, marsh fritillary butterfly, and eleven species of bat. This richness can be enhanced.
We will champion a wilder connected landscape of abundant habitats, with improved and expanded buffer zones with a focus on the Forest of Selwood’s five river catchments.
We will encourage the reintroduction of native species that are a key part of re-establishing natural processes and restoring ecosystems.
Reconnecting people with the landscape
Locally lead action
The future of our planet relies on everyone taking individual and collective action. Only together can we build a better, more resilient future.
We will collaborate with people to revive the landscape of the Forest of Selwood across, and between, the countryside, towns and villages, to nurture a new distinctiveness for the area for everyone to enjoy.
We will promote natural beauty and cultural capital so that the Forest of Selwood will be a richer, more vibrant and resilient place to live in the future.
Slowing Climate Change
Capturing carbon and slowing the flow
Climate change demands new thinking.
We will champion natural flood management processes in the headwaters of the rivers Brue, Cale, Frome, Stour and Wylye to slow the flow of waters and reduce the volumes of soils carried downstream as silt to the Severn Estuary and the Dorset and Hampshire coast, alleviating flooding in these areas.
We will encourage a shift from carbon intensive farming to regenerative agriculture, through rewilding, reviving habitats, and restoring the natural balance of rivers to capture carbon and slow climate change.
We will promote a regenerative forest economy to benefit local communities, enhance social and cultural wellbeing and welcome visitors to it.
Photography: Maxwell Milligan
Forest of Selwood
The ancient forest of Selwood once stretched from Bruton in the west to Warminster in the east, and from Frome in the north to Shaftesbury in the south.
This is a landscape steeped in legend and history. It was here in 878 that the Forest provided refuge for King Alfred and his men for two nights before England’s defining Battle of Ethandune. After gathering support from the men of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire against the marauding Danes, Alfred met them at Egbert’s Stone, possibly near Alfred’s Tower on Kingsettle Hill.
We believe that by restoring space for nature and ‘wildness’ in the Forest, we can help to provide new opportunities for people to engage with this environment.
The legacy of Selwood Forest survives in a beautiful, historic landscape, presenting an opportunity for the environment, economy and community to work hand in hand.