Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


Wilding Weekend Video (Sep23)

Find out more about our second Wilding Weekend, held in June 2023.This video includes interviews with many of the key players. See below for further details.

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Our small land-holding in West Dorset has been transformed into a wildlife and wildflower haven. Each year we’re seeing more species appearing from hedgehogs to hares, numerous types of bees to bats and barn owls. This year we found the skin from a grass snake in our wetland and pond area. Newts, frogs, and toads are abundant. And anyone coming to the Wilding Weekend was able to see the myriad of moths that had been trapped the night before and were on display.

The Wilding Weekend included talks, tours and stalls as well as things to buy and things to eat. It was sponsored by Clipper Teas/Ecotone and supported by the National Garden Scheme. We also raised money to rewild Britain’s schools with Operation Future Hope. Lesley Malpas

This video includes interviews with many of the participants in the Wilding Weekend including:

– Rachael Moss & Adam Gale who help with the wilding at Hooke
– BEE HAPPY PLANTS & SEEDS – Sarah Holdsworth – talking about why cultivars can have no value to nature – ‘they may as well be plastic’, she says.
– Zain Ansari, from Phyta Biodesign talking about developing a panel habit for solitary bees
– The CEO of Real Wild Estates, Julian Matthews, explaining how he helps large landowners make money from rewilding.
– West Dorset Wilding – Tom Brereton and Zoe Tribe talking about Mapperton and other large Dorset estates bringing back lost species, such as beavers.
– Julie Leah explaining how the Great Big Dorset Hedge is restoring hedgerows across the county.
– Daisy Meadowcroft from the Dorset Wildlife Trust tackling the issue of why rewilding actually benefits the soil and therefore food production.
– Kate Rawles, talking about her brilliant book – The Life Cycle – which highlights global biodiversity issues alongside the story of her cycling over 8000 miles through the Andes on a bamboo bicycle.
– Jean-René Grailhe, the technical manager at Clipper Teas (Ecotone), demonstrating that he works for a mission-driven B-Corps company.
– My two sons – Connor Bryant and Monty Bryant 🧙🏼‍♂️✨ Bryant talking about their respective businesses – Rubbish Ideas and ReFi DAO – and why they see the wilding transformation at home is important for their future.
– Our Ukrainian guest, Nadiia T. telling us about her daughter’s fascination with butterflies and other insects
– My PA, Bex Stanley enthusing about wilding and working with us at Hooke
– My husband, Jamie Macdonald admitting that he used to be a petrol-head and is still a motor-bike enthusiast but now he understands the importance of biodiversity and regenerative gardening!

And, finally me, in full excitement at the positive feedback from visitors to the Wilding Weekend – and rashly promising that it has become an annual event. The next one will be on the 15th and 16th June, 2024. Please do come along. Look on my website for updates and further information nearer the time.

Thanks the Bristol Video Company for filming the video and a few others covering different aspects of the day

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