The millionaire rewilding the countryside, one farm at a time

The millionaire rewilding the countryside, one farm at a time

Julia Davies, lawyer turned activist, is helping wildlife groups to buy up land – and fight back against Britain’s biodiversity crisis

Julia Davies had one only goal in mind when she sold her share of the outdoor equipment company Osprey Europe a few years ago. The entrepreneur decided she was going to spend her millions turning back the clock – by returning swathes of the British farmland to wilderness. Nature is in crisis in the UK, she argues, and its threatened wildlife needs all the protection it can get.

A few months ago, the first steps towards her rewilding dreams were taken with the purchase of 170 hectares of fields and meadows that surround Court Farm, near Bere Regis, Dorset. The land cost almost £4m but thanks to the prospect of a bridging loan from Davies, Dorset Wildlife Trust has been able to acquire ownership and has begun creating a nature park there.

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