Farmers are being called upon to dedicate 1% of their land to nature and carbon sequestration in an unexpected way – by farming in straight lines. The call to make a commitment to nature and the climate in the run-up to the crucial Cop26 UN climate summit in Glasgow comes from WildEast , the farmer-led rewilding movement that is encouraging landowners large and small to create wildlife-rich places across East Anglia. Since its launch a year ago , the WildEast campaign has gathered pledges from more than 80 farmers in the region to devote 20% of their land to nature, as well as commitments from schools, churchyards, councils, people with gardens, and the train company Greater Anglia, which has pledged to rewild more than 50 railway stations in the region. But the charitable trust’s founders admit they have faced “pushback” from some farmers, who argue it is easy for grand estates with woodland, riverine landscapes or heathland to pledge a fifth to nature but impossible for small farmers, for whom every acre of food production is crucial to their livelihood. Hugh Somerleyton, the co-founder of WildEast, has committed 20% of his 5,000-acre estate to nature, rewilding lakes, heathland and […]

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