I’m obsessively recording one of the many success stories of this pioneering rewilding project – the resurgence of the beautifully sonorous nightingale. I’ve recorded around 30 separate Nightingales during my residency at Knepp (2021) with another 30 in 2022.
But why are the nightingales drawn to Knepp? Previously in the UK, nightingales had been considered essentially a woodland species. Their dramatic decline – 90% between 1970 and 2010 (BTO) – was thought to be due to changes in woodland management. But research by Imperial College London shows clearly that nightingales thrive in thorny scrub and overgrown hedges at Knepp. The fact that scrub is no longer tolerated in our landscape has no doubt accelerated the nightingale’s decline (knepp.co.uk/nightingales).