Our Conservation Work

We don’t just want to conserve the wildlife and natural environment at Whites Wood Farm, we want to take steps to ensure it thrives in every way possible. Our world faces unprecedented climate challenges; pollution, loss of habitat, unsympathetic and unsustainable land use, and exploitation of our natural resources is decimating our wildlife and countryside. It is a fundamental part of our ethos that we  promote and nurture a love of nature through all our education and community projects.

How we monitor our site….

We are fortunate enough to enjoy a wide range of flora and fauna on the site already with our trail cameras, which capture pictures from around the woodland,  providing us with further information about some of the shier, more hidden wildlife. As we began on our Led by the Wild adventure, we also started to make a detailed log of the the plants, fungus and animals that we observe throughout the year. This is important so we are able to monitor the impact of our conservation projects and ensure that the Forest School and Outdoor Learning Centre is run in a way which is sympathetic of the natural environment and managed appropriately.

Eurasian Jay (Garralus glandarius)

Although a common species found throughout the UK, this photo was one of the first captured using our tracking cameras.

Green Elfcup Fungus (Chlorociboria aeruginascens)

We were excited to find that we have Green Elfcup fungus in the woodland. This greeny blue staining on the wood, is caused by the fungus and we are hoping to find some of the tiny fruiting bodies next autumn, a rare thing to see.

The Bigger Picture…..

In the UK even our most iconic species are in decline including the bumblebee, hedgehogs and many native birds. We depend on each of these species to maintain a healthy ecosystem, especially our pollinating insects. Therefore, we are committed to taking whatever steps we can across our 30-acre site to help promote as healthy a balance of wildlife as we can. After consulting with Kent Wildlife Trust, who visited us in November, we have put together a conservation plan which will be implemented over the next year.

Some of our current projects and plans include:

– Careful coppicing and management of the woodland to allow a balance of plant life and with some deadwood to remain to provide habitats

– Fencing off and creating a corridor of land alongside our woodland, to create a habitat of long grass and scrub between the woodland and grassland

– Creating a wild meadow on the grassland, which will be carefully managed to encourage the establishment of native plants

– Planting a hedgerow to re-establish some of the original hedgerow boundaries which once bordered the site

– Creating a wildlife pond fed by a small spring and adjoining the corridor of scrub connecting it to the woodland

Creation of these spaces will help promote habitat and food for insects, birds, reptiles, as well as small and larger mammals.

Getting involved…..

Our aim is to undertake and manage this conservation work with volunteers, young and old, as well as provide educational opportunities about protecting our natural spaces and wildlife.

Would you like to get involved? Whether you can offer some expertise or just fancy pulling on your wellies and reconnecting with nature, please get in touch by using our Contact Us link or contacting Ali Body ali@ledbythewild.co.uk

“Our task must be to free ourselves, by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature”

Albert Einstein