Nature charity Heal, which was launched during the pandemic, has purchased a 460-acre site near Bruton in Somerset to restore it to its natural state. The charity aims to buy land for rewilding and create a major nature recovery site in all 48 English counties by 2050. Heal Somerset, their first purchase, is a former dairy farm and will serve as a blueprint for the charity's ambitious plans.
The charity Heal, which aims to restore degraded land for nature and create rural jobs, has bought its first site in Somerset. Heal Somerset, a former dairy farm, will be restored to its natural state with the introduction of rare breed cattle, pigs, and ponies in small numbers, as well as developing a habitat mosaic of trees, scrub, grassland, bare earth, and water. Around half of the site will be open to the public, serving as a blueprint for the charity's plans to create a major nature recovery site in all 48 English counties by 2050.
Heal has raised £5.25m to fund its rewilding mission and is the first registered charity in the UK to buy land solely for the purpose of rewilding it. The charity plans to repay its affordable lending from Triodos Bank through donations and land sponsorship. People can sponsor nine square meter plots of land for as little as £20, plus an annual upkeep fee of £3.
Co-founder Jan Stannard said, "The potential for nature to bounce back at Heal Somerset is huge. The process of rewilding has already begun, and we expect to see visible positive changes within a couple of years." Heal Somerset will also create jobs and work with local businesses, helping to tackle the climate and nature crises.
The Heal charity's rewilding project is an important step towards sustainable development, as it promotes biodiversity and helps to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, such as preserving life on land and creating sustainable communities. By restoring degraded land and creating rural jobs, the charity is contributing to a vision of a global society that prioritizes the health of the planet and its inhabitants.