Plans revealed to convert 1,000 acres of land with new tourist initiative

Joss and James Hanbury

In Rutland, the owners of a farming and land estate are leading a project that aims to reintroduce native bears, wolves, and lynx to the countryside, along with other indigenous species, pending the success of local proposals.

The goal is to convert over 1,000 acres of land, spanning from Burley Wood to the Oakham bypass, into Wild Rutland.

This initiative aims to create job opportunities but also rejuvenate Rutland’s tourism landscape.

Plans for a comprehensive planning submission to Rutland County Council are expected during the summer.

The Hanbury family, who have lived and farmed on the Burley Estate for centuries, believe now is the right time to embark upon the Wild Rutland project. 

James Hanbury said: “We hope that our proposal will be seen as complementary to what is already on offer in Oakham for nature lovers and provide a place where people can explore and learn more about indigenous species and their habitats. We sincerely hope that Wild Rutland will enhance the county and be something that Rutland can be proud of.”

“The overriding intention is to improve the natural habitat and ecology of the area, using techniques such as regenerative farming, which in turn will create new opportunities for greater bird, insect and reptile diversity.

“Wild Rutland would create a job opportunity in sectors such as land management, nature conservation, zoology and hospitality. Like many large visitor attractions across the UK this project has the potential to create a lasting impact on the tourism industry and local economy of Rutland,”