Dunsbury Farm – protecting a butterfly paradise
In October 2015 the National Trust made its largest coastal acquisition in over 20 years. And it was right here on the Isle of Wight.
Working Together for Wildlife
Farming that will help wildlife
The arable land is on very light sandy soils on slopes leading down to the sea. These suffer from considerable soil loss when it rains and the rapid flow of water in straight ditches contributes to some of the cliff erosion on the coast.
We’re planning to revert much of the arable land to grassland by natural regeneration, to help stabilise the soil and slow down the rate of rain water run-off. Light grazing of these fields will allow grassland and flowers to flourish and develop deeper roots, which help to restore soil structure, retain vital water resources and store carbon. Over time areas of scattered scrub and woodland will be allowed to develop by natural means, and will provide a more varied landscape and habitat for farmland wildlife such as voles, mice, kestrels, linnets, skylarks, yellow hammers, butterflies and other insects.
Neighbouring Compton Farm already plays an important part in the management of Compton Down and parts of the coast. Sensitive wildlife-friendly farming of Dunsbury will allow the wildlife on Compton Farm to spread out and do even better.