Charles Burrell

Charles Burrell

Owner of Knepp Castle, a 3,500 acre estate that has been in the Burrell family for 220 years, Charlie is the inspiration behind the Knepp Wildland Project.

Having run Knepp home farm for 20 years, Charlie had a dramatic change of heart after a visit to the Oostvaardersplassen project in Holland in the 1990s and saw the potential for a similar "rewilding" project at home in Sussex.

Charlie is chair of Rewilding Britain, the Beaver Advisory Committee for England and the Romanian rewilding project, Foundation Conservation Carpathia. He is also on the board of The Arcadia Fund, Ingleby Farms Environment Committee, the Endangered Landscapes Programme and the Bronze Oak Project.

"Knepp is on heavy clay, and it’s always been a struggle to farm here. With the Wildland Project we’re still raising cattle and livestock, only now it’s extensive rather than intensive farming – more like ranching, really – and the animals are driving the great positives like biodiversity, habitat and soil restoration. We’re on a thrilling journey. The possibilities are endless, and the relevance to conservation and ecosystems services as we look to the future has never been greater."