This afternoon I joined a walking safari at Knepp, which is a 3,500 acre estate in West Sussex that has been very successful in a pioneering rewilding project. You may have read the book Wilding by the owner of the estate, Isabella Tree which has been a best seller. They introduced some ancient British species like long horn cows, Tamworth pigs and Dartmoor ponies, red deer, fallow deer and then stood back and let nature take over. The result has been a startling increase in wildlife, with extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies now breeding there and scarce mammals like the Barbastelle bat coming into the area.
Our guide was very interesting and good at finding certain creatures - he found us some grass snakes, and also the wasp spider as seen in my extra. This little dragonfly was flitting about in the trees and I cannot remember which dragonfly it is but I don't think they are that common. They also get the very rare Southern Migrant Hawker there. I did not have a macro lens with me, so these images were taken with a short telephoto lens.
It was a very interesting afternoon, I would love to go back when the Purple Emperor butterflies return in the spring although these safaris are booked up almost a year in advance!
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