New Rewilding Park Joins Letts Safari
Sunrise Park in southwest England is the latest rewilding park to joins Letts Safari's Network of parks - doing something about climate change
A new rewilding safari park in Devon, called Sunrise Park, has been recently created following a four year rewilding programme. It joins the Letts Safari Network of parks - taking the number of parks in the network to three.
All three parks are in the southwest of England, supporting the environmental credentials of this developing region. Sunrise Park is near Exeter, on the Haldon ridge.
The 30 acre safari park was established utilising the latest rewilding techniques developed over time by Letts Safari’s own teams. It has just completed its 4 year regeneration programme designed to increase biodiversity, remove carbon and grow wildlife populations within interlocking habitats.
The core macro-habitats newly formed create the conditions for a thriving small-park ecosystem to establish itself. Being a smaller park surrounded by neighbouring land and farms it has reintroduced just two herbivores using the animal proxy strategy to harness a contained nature-based solution for natural regeneration. Perimeter fences have been lowered in strategic places to allow the local fallow deer to run freely through the 30 acres.
Soay act as proxy for larger deer or gazelle. The wild herbivore is rare, ancient, and self-sufficient making them well suited to smaller-scale rewilding efforts. Their narrow, sharp hooves slice the ground and their mouths and horns drive forces of habitat regeneration. They eat a wide mix of grazing, moving constantly and aid to keep back invasive species that inevitably spring up from woodland regeneration, in particular.
With only 1,000 soay left in the world, Sunrise Park Joins Letts Safari efforts to ensure they can be bred for other Letts Safari parks, protecting this magnificent breed.
Sunrise Park is a model for smaller Letts Safari parks. It used to be an industrially farmed conifer forest with some old, grazing grounds. The pine forest has been thinned back allowing young deciduous trees to grow through, providing a new layer of broad leaf trees for long term carbon removal.
Open scrubland has been developed and small fields are establishing as wild grassland. Sunrise Park has adopted Letts Safari’s 3-tier waterway system with a large pond closed off for wildlife overflowing into a half acre bog in turn flooding onto wild grassland, creating wetland. There is also a small reclaimed stream running nearby.
The park built a series of Letts Wildlife Biodomes™ to accelerate soil improvement, while providing self-sustaining natural homes for insects, bugs, birds and small mammals.
Previously bereft of biodiversity, the young park is now attracting a wide range of insects and wild bees thanks to its rewilding programme. The newly improved waterways are establishing water plants and wild shrubs with marine life and water insects moving in. Buzzards and hawk have been spotted along with a growing diversity of bird life. Rabbits and hares quickly moved in and other smaller mammals are being spotted more frequently.
Nearly 200 metres of dead hedging has been built to enable wild hedgerow to grow through. Birds are already nesting inside. Sunrise Park proves that any small park, corner of a farm or estate can be successfully rewilded - creating a model for many more exciting new Letts Safari parks to spring up.
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Sunrise Park joins Letts Safari’s first safari park - called Dawlish Park, which was announced at the launch of LettsSafari.com in June. It is a 75 acre park at Letts Safari’s centre for rewilding in Mamhead Park. Herbivores featured here include fallow deer, wild alpaca and badger faces.
Dawlish Park has abundant wild grassland, a mature, ancient forest and newly planted woodland areas with nearly 5,000 young trees. In between the new trees is a mix of scrub and wild grassland. The second parkland to join the Letts Safari Network of parks was Devon’s amazing rewilded Capability Brown gardens.
If you have a 20+ acre park (or area of land), you too can join the Letts Safari Network of parks. Letts Safari parks get support and advice from Letts Safari and its members to become a biodiverse-rich, rewilding safari park.
We are excited to welcome Sunrise Park to Letts Safari. And we look forward to welcoming many more rewilding parks to the Letts Safari Network of parks.
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