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 studied Advanced Farm Management at Cirencester Agricultural College and run the home farm for 20 years, he had a dramatic change of heart after a visit to the Oostvaardersplassen project in Holland in the 1990s.

He saw the potential for a similar "rewilding" project at home in Sussex.

"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 – it’s 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 eco-systems services as we look to the future has never been greater."