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Thread: Hypothetical question; transforming a field into an oasis

  1. #1

    Hypothetical question; transforming a field into an oasis

    One of my friends and I have been having a hypothetical discussion (or rather, a real discussion on a hypothetical topic), about what we would do if we had a small piece of land, say 25-40 hectares of flat arable land (as there's loads of that here in Denmark!) we could do as we wished with in order to make the most of our sporting opportunities.

    This came about, as we were discussing the prices of various sporting leases over here, and the shocking prices that people are asking for wooded land, as well as the fact that we often drive past a small field where it looks like a hunter has made himself a little oasis in the midst of the surrounding farmland.

    So if you came into possession of such a field, and had the money (and permission) to 'terraform' it, and plant whatever you wanted, etc. in order to make your own little hunting/stalking paradise, what would you do and why?


  2. #2
    This man did exactly that - 28 ha of flat fenland into a sporting paradise

    Wills Shoot Revisited: John Humphreys, Will Garfit: Books

    Now, if only I could get 28 ha for 8000 today

  3. #3
    If possible; Ponds and cover crops laid out with rides suited to driven plus flighting days with sanctuary meadows and wallows. Longer term, aiming for trees and under storey to take over from some or most of the temporary cover crops but thinking ahead to the habitat types you'd be creating and how they would fit with sporting use. Also with the trees thinking to winter shelter and food and light penetration and final three dimensional shapes created in your land.

  4. #4
    I have been responsible over the years for a number of landscape creations big & small, that have had this type of remit, and had some great results, the crucial factors are always food, shelter, water, the rest is time. That is required for both vegetation growth & establishment, also the migration into your newly created environment of wild flora & fauna...the rest is all asthetics, but as mentioned above the actual shape and topography will assist in offering protection, keeping water & helping to promote quicker establishment of a variety of species, you will be creating a 'micro climate essentially and trying to isolate it with natural boundaries will help as disturbance can have a very detrimental effect.

    The clever use of and introduction of various species of flora & fauna at the bottom of the food chain/cycle will have a long term bearing on speed of migration from surrounding area of the larger wildlife species etc etc.

  5. #5
    If the soil is suitable I'd include an area of hazel coppice, perhaps 10 or 15 acres. Its an invaluable habitat for all manner of bird and animal species as well as wild plants and flowers which struggle under intensive agriculture and forestry. And you can make sustainable use of it yourself.

  6. #6
    I am currently doing just that on my place.

    My plan is to provide what is missing from the local area. Much of the land management in the US also uses this model.

    If the area is surrounded my non-rotational crops, then plant a food source that is available when the crops are out. If cover is lacking, then provided cover with that food. If water is the limitation, then dig a pond. One other important factor seems to provide a small refuge that is NEVER intruded upon. 1 acre of protected cover, fenced to exclude dogs and livestock, can be an amazing draw all by itself.

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