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Walk on the Wild Side: Through the Heart of LettsSafari's Dawlish Park

Narrated Video: the heart of Dawlish Park at LettsSafari's rewilding centre in Exeter City. We take a deeper look at this place and how it has changed hearts and minds in Devon.

In the 2nd narrated video (above) about LettsSafari’s Dawlish Park we take a wild walk through the heart of this extraordinary place. Philip explains how the project began, the remarkable 15 year programme to get it to from an old, almost abandoned farmed pine forest with about as much biodiversity as a petrol forecourt, to today’s magnificent rewilding safari park.


Teaming with new deciduous trees including oak, alder, birch, cherry, crab apple, hazel, blackthorn, hawthorn, beech and more. Now 12-15 years old, these young trees are bursting with life and vigour. Their diversity, combined with keeping families of trees together in LettsSafari’s copse combinations, makes for a healthy environment.

From farmed pine forest to model LettsSafari park.

After the felling of the farmed pine in this 30 acre oval bowl just two tall trees were left standing. A magnificent Monterey pine and a 50 metre tall birch. From the open spaces created by the felling both produced some magnificent offspring. To accentuate the latter we planted clusters of new silver birch.

A baby Monterey Pine in the making.

75 acres is a wonderful size for a rewilding safari park.

In future posts we will explain how it came about, its design and how to construct small, medium and large model LettsSafari parks. Each of them are tried and tested at our rewilding centre in Exeter City. This should help you better understand the potential of smaller 10 acre model LettsSafari parks, mid-sized 30 acre parks and larger 75 acre parks. They could even provide a future vision for England’s 27,000 municipal parks.

Young fallow deer in the heart of Dawlish Park.

Hundreds of experts and enthusiasts have visited Dawlish Park over the life of the project. From this fast evolving place and their immersed learning dozens of new park-size projects have sprung up. LettsSafari’s Capability Gardens nearby have stimulated hundreds of new wilder garden projects. A circuitous ripple effect - one that LettsSafari plans to expand across the UK.

Over the summer we will dig deeper into Dalwish Park with narrated videos about its specific trees, plants and the amazing wildlife gathered here. Rewilders have a saying “if you build it they will come (meaning wildlife)”. Dawlish Park is living proof. If only there were more places like this.

Together we can rewild the UK by building more LettsSafari parks like Dawlish Park - 1 tree, 1 animal, 1 new park at a time. Become a Subscriber or Patron today.


Get more LettsSafari updates and wildlife photos from our twitter. And read the latest posts at the LettsSafari + website.

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LettsSafari +
Wild TV
A channel dedicated to 'wild' video shorts from Letts Safari parks, rewilding projects, wildlife conservation, climate and more. Also features Jem McCluskey, our wild filmmaker in-residence.