Salvation Army begins Hadleigh Farm rewilding project

published on 6 Jun 2024

Plans to encourage an array of wildlife to make The Salvation Army’s Hadleigh Farm its home are getting underway this month.

The church and charity is joining forces with environmental regulator Natural England for an ambitious rewilding scheme. On nine parcels of land, plant species native to wet grasslands will be introduced which is the preferred habitat for birds such as sparrows, skylarks, linnets, yellowhammers, grey partridges, wintering waders and wildfowl. 

It is hoped that the the restoration of grassland will also encourage protected invertebrates including the great crested newt and slow worms to make Hadleigh their home.

Ciaran Egan, Hadleigh Estate Director, said he was looking forward to the work getting started. The project will transform 240 hectares of the 360 hectare estate.

PR Comms Hadleigh Rewilding 1
The majority of the designated area is currently open grassland

He said: “Once work is complete and the different parcels of land have had the opportunity to fully establish, the vista will be changed from one of machined farmed land to a natural corridor with a rich diversity of wildlife.

“We’re particularly excited about the creation of the wet grassland areas and other land which will allow us to introduce grazing around the site. It will add to the natural beauty of a day out at Hadleigh Farm while bringing about significant benefit to the environment.”

The majority of the designated area is currently open grassland covered with scrub with some currently used as farmland. 

Local people and visitors will notice fencing work including scrub clearance around Hadleigh Castle and areas around the boundary of the marshland getting underway this month. More gates will also be installed to allow the rewilding land to fully establish and to maintain existing rights of way.

PR Comms Hadleigh Rewilding 2
The rewilding project is getting underway this month

Later in the year, ditches and gutters will be created on the marsh, while the existing farm track along the northern boundary of the marsh will also be renovated.

Work is set to continue throughout the summer until the end of 2024. Visitors will be able to enjoy the new space from various viewpoints from early next year. 

Regular updates on the work will be posted on Hadleigh Farm’s social media channels. Specific enquiries can be sent to

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