A REWILDING project working to improve health and wellbeing has been awarded thousands of pounds from a charity grant.

Spains Hall Estate, in Finchingfield, has been awarded £15,000 from charity Rewilding Britain’s Rewilding Innovation Fund.

It is the first official round of awards from the fund, set up to provide financial backing for locally-led land and marine rewilding projects, following a pilot earlier in the year.

Spains Hall Estate has been chosen as part of seven rewilding projects across Britain and will be using the funding to embark on an ambitious land use change which covers nearly 500 hectares, twice the size of London's Olympic Park.

The estate has said the money will be used to run educational, nature-based outdoor therapy programmes for schools and community groups on the estate.

Working in partnership with The Wilderness Foundation, the programme, which is due to start in 2023, will be run out of a nature-based camp on the estate and will provide educational lessons about the work the estate does including sustainable agriculture, natural flood management, agro-forestry and rewilding.

This latest project is part of the Spain Hall Estate’s wider vision to redefine land management by transforming traditional agricultural farming into a bio-diverse and sustainable habitat.

Archie Ruggles-Brise, estate manager at Spains Hall Estate, said “We are delighted to have the support and financial backing from Rewilding Britain as well as the expertise from The Wilderness Foundation to run this unique educational and wellbeing programme.

“The Wilderness Foundation are so good at communicating how and why changes are being made in the landscape, and thanks to support from Rewilding Britain, we can begin our work together at the same time as transitioning around 500 hectares of land to a completely new farming system.

“We hope this it will be of huge benefit to children and young people all over Essex and help them reconnect with nature, learn more about the environment and sustainable farming whilst having lots of fun in the fresh air.”

For more information or to sign up for one of the Estate’s wilderness therapy sessions visit wildernessfoundation.org.uk/wilderness-environment/spains-hall-estate/.