#WildWomenInterviews with Janaki Lenin: Episode 8
Isabella Tree is the author of five books, which include a biography about the Victorian-era ornithologist John Gould, the practice of the Living Goddesses of Nepal and travel books about her adventures in Papua New Guinea and Mexico. We talk about her latest book that’s set closer home and in time —Wilding – The Return Of Nature To A British Farm.
Isabella and her husband Charles Burrell let nature take over their 3,500-acre land in West Sussex, U.K., after they realised it wasn’t economically productive for arable or dairy farming. They brought in free-ranging English longhorn cattle, fallow deer, ponies, and pigs to mimic the grazing of the extinct aurochs and the Eurasian wild horse called tarpan. They broke small dams to allow rivers to run free and overflow their banks to create wetlands.
Despite her name, Isabella has strong reservations about planting trees. Instead, they let the Eurasian jays do the job of planting oak acorns. They had their moments of doubt such as when creeping thistle, considered a pest by many, covered hundreds of acres of land. But Nature sorted the problem for them.
The book is a memoir of this grand experiment of turning their farm into a wilderness, now home to many species of birds and butterflies.
Hear more about this unique enterprise and the newer developments.
Read more from Janaki here: