The Moor Barton story
Moor Barton Wilding was founded by Robin Bowman, who brings 25 years experience of land management, permaculture, nature connection teaching and rewilding to the project.
Since 2005, Moor Barton has hosted thousands of visitors. Students from schools and universities, participants on courses run by environmental organisations, families, individuals and more have come to connect with nature, themselves and communities. The site has been the setting for ecological and environmental education as well as personal and spiritual development work. At this time of systemic ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’, Moor Barton has enabled countless adults and children to learn about and spend time in the natural environment, connecting with the wildness within and without. With its rich history of education, Moor Barton will continue to be a place to come and learn about the natural world and ecological restoration. Check out our volunteer days and camps and courses.
Around 10 years ago the larch plantation that dominated Moor Barton was felled and replanted with 8,200 native broadleaf trees. Since this time we have intervened minimally and, as a result, have witnessed an explosion of life as the ground cover, insects and pollinators have returned, birds have found nest sites and food sources and larger mammals have found sanctuary within the woodland.
In recent years, however, we have taken up our role as a 'keystone' species and we are managing the land in a much more active way. As the replanted trees grow bigger and stronger each year, without this management (and without the keystone and functional creatures who would have once kept whole areas of the land open and light filled) the land will inevitably march on towards becoming closed canopy woodland. This would result in many of the most specialised and diverse habitats being lost.
Thoughtful and innovative management - underpinned by good ecology and a strong understanding of the ecological and biological systems of the land - ranges from the cyclical cutting of trails, rides and glades to the reintroduction of keystone species such as the beaver. Such management ensures that the current abundance and the variety of layers, structures and habitats within the land is not just maintained, but increases.
We are collaborating with adjoining landowners to ensure that this ecological restoration and rewilding happens on a landscape wide scale. You can read more about the habitats at Moor Barton Wilding and how we are managing them in the habitats section.