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South Downs Centre - Temporary Closure

The South Downs Centre in Midhurst is temporarily closed to visitors but our team are still on hand to answer your calls and emails.

Selborne Farm Cluster

Selborne Farm Cluster

With Gilbert White’s Selborne at its heart, the cluster group’s aim is to adopt a joined-up approach to nature conservation, building on the existing environmental work that is already being successfully carried out alongside conventional, modern-day farming activities.

In addition to the 23 farmer members, there are four other group members: the National Trust, at Selborne Common and the Lythes; The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust at Noar Hill; The Woodland Trust at Binswood and Gilbert White’s House Museum. We also receive tremendous support from our partners The South Downs National Park Authority, Natural England and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

The countryside in which we either live, work or visit is primarily a managed and farmed landscape. With a more joined-up approach to individual farm conservation activities, our group plans to create wildlife corridors and restore the interconnectivity between habitats across an entire landscape.  This work includes:

  • Hedgerow management
  • Establishment of field margins
  • Planting of seed mixes for winter bird feed and wildflowers for insects
  • Winter supplementary feeding
  • Management of ponds and woodlands

The farmers within our cluster have selected a number of flagship bird, mammal, insect and reptile species on which they intend to focus their conservation efforts. By monitoring these species we hope to demonstrate that our conservation work is achieving positive results, whilst also enabling us to better target our future conservation work. Some of the species include:

  • Harvest mouse
  • Barn owl
  • Lapwing
  • Duke of Burgundy butterly

We have had tremendous support from local naturalists who have volunteered their time and expertise to help us set up a wildlife survey and monitoring programme. To date species surveys have included yellowhammer, lapwing, winter farmland birds, barn owls, butterflies, insects, amphibians, harvest mice and brown hairstreak counts. We are hugely grateful for the commitment and on-going support of our local volunteers – without whom this simply would not have been possible.

We are convinced that a collaborative and mutually supportive approach to nature conservation across the Selborne Landscape Partnership’s area will deliver what we’re seeking — a diverse and vibrant wildlife population.

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" The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness. "