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Sulham Woodmeadows

"Our aim is a mosaic of open wooded and grassland habitat managed by grazing that increases biodiversity and is sympathetic to the landscape. The site is accessible to local people and will contribute to the wellbeing of the community"

Sulham Historic Map Comp


We are collaborating with Sulham Estate in West Berkshire for a habitat restoration project across 130ha of former arable farmland. This is creating a significant number of Biodiversity Units for sale.

This work will transform the existing cropland into a mosaic of habitats taking advantage of poor yielding soils to establish species rich hay meadows and pasture. Historic maps reveal smaller fields and old boundaries that connect the landscape with hedgerows. Reinstating over 5km of hedgerows will link up existing woods and provide extensive networks of habitat, giving a greater opportunity for wildlife to thrive whilst maintaining usable fields.


The scheme will be 'farmed' but allows the pressure to be taken off intensive farm practice and with no additional nutrients added, soils are allowed to recover and local watercourses benefit over time. 
Further benefits include a contribution to air quality and carbon sequestration in a strategically important area to the west of Reading. The site will remain ‘farmed’ with grazing livestock and haymaking. The design and management of the scheme is sympathetic to the wider landscape of the AONB (National Landscape).

Credit Berkshire Archives


At the north of the site is a 25ha field next to the Great Western Main Line, known as Railway field. The lowest part of the field regularly floods, so an ambitious wetland creation project managed by ARK (Action for the River Kennet) is underway as part of the wider transformation.

There will also be large areas of open grassland with new scrub and woodland surrounds along the field boundaries. By taking a cut of 'green hay' and spreading it on this area we hope to capture local provenance meadow seed, helping to expand species from floodplain meadows at the local Wildlife Trust nature reserve Moor Copse.

The largest part of the project is the central area of approximately 75ha. Previously known as Stoneham's Farm it has been in arable production for many years and with several public footpaths is a popular spot for locals walkers.

Crops have been replaced with a carefully thought through design that considers wider landscape features and historical boundaries. It will comprise of a mix of areas including new grassland, wildflower meadows, broadleaved woodland, scrub, parkland/woodmeadow, walnut orchard, hazel coppice and new hedgerows.

The southern field is known as Saddler's Farm. A large arable field dominates this 26ha area with some additional grassland along the boundaries.

A mixture of species rich grassland and scrub will break up the existing arable field with new woodland planted to restore previously lost woodland blocks. New ponds have been created in partnership with the Freshwater Habitat Trust (Newt Conservation Partnership).

Credit Ordnance Survey

Sulham UKHab Habitat Composite

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a government policy that ensures a positive change to nature for future land development. Developers must ensure a minimum of 10% upyield in the value of biodiversity which is measured using Defra's Biodiversity Metric.

We are early adopters in the principles of this system and have created a a verifiable and trustworthy supply of high-quality habitat which can be traded to meet BNG quotas. This new market for nature restoration will provide financial support to landowners who want to manage their land for greater biodiversity.

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