Exploring the Knepp Rewilding Project on Foot during the Covid-19 Crisis
We’re delighted to be able to welcome walkers to our car parks again but please note that we are not a nature reserve with infrastructure and facilities for the public, but just have public footpaths from which to quietly observe wildlife. If you choose to visit, please continue to follow government guidelines, especially about social distancing, and please do not obstruct lanes and driveways or park on verges (as this destroys the wildflowers).
Please remain courteous and mindful of other people using the footpaths. Step aside if you meet people coming the opposite way and be sure to maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 ½ feet) apart, even if you are overtaking them.
Please take special care when using gates at the car park, on the public footpaths and our tree viewing platforms. Bring hand sanitiser with you and disinfect your hands before and after touching latches and other areas that may receive high volumes of traffic. If you are wearing gloves, be aware that contamination can remain on clothes for some time and be careful not to touch your face. Always wash your hands rigorously as soon as you get home.
With these simple additional precautions we hope you can continue to enjoy a much-needed respite from the stresses of this continuing crisis.
Please also read our standard information carefully:
There are 16 miles of public and permissive footpaths within the Knepp Rewilding project, which cover an area of 3,500 acres, and five tree viewing-platforms, close to public footpaths, offering wonderful panoramas of the surrounding countryside. There is also a bird-hide overlooking Knepp Lake.
Please park in our carpark situated at:
- New Barn Farm, Swallows Lane, Dial Post, RH13 8NN
and nowhere else on the Estate or village roads.
We kindly request £5/vehicle in the Honesty Box provided to help us maintain the track and car parks.
You can download a footpath map here.
Please follow the Countryside Code and, in particular, shut all gates behind you. We have large herds of free roaming animals inside the Wildland Project and we would like them to stay on the right side of the fence, away from the roads.
It is particularly important that you keep to public footpaths. You are legally bound to do so, but it is crucial in our rewilding project as there are areas where birds and other species may be breeding. Our grazing animals also need areas away from footpaths where they, too, can find refuge from humans, especially during the breeding and mating seasons.
Please also respect our wildlife. Never approach or feed the animals. We need them to keep a flight distance that is safe for them and for the human beings in the project.
So do take care, take a map with you, look for the public footpath signposts, and ask directions if you get lost.
Be aware that tracks used by our safari and service vehicles, and well-worn paths created by the animals, may not be public footpaths.
Thank you, and enjoy your walk.
In particular, it is important to appreciate that our free-roaming cattle, ponies and pigs - an important aspect of the rewilding project - are not like ordinary farm animals. Like the red and fallow deer, they have free rein of the Estate. They are not managed in the conventional way, or supplementary fed, and they give birth to their young out in the project.
To all intents and purposes, they are wild animals and we need to protect their natural flight distance for their own safety and the safety of the public.
So please observe these simple rules:
- Do not approach the animals, and on no account try to feed them.
- If animals are on the footpath, and looking unwilling to move, simply go around them, giving them a wide berth.
- Keep dogs on a lead or under control at all times, and on no account allow them to chase the animals.
- Take particular care to avoid red deer stags and fallow bucks during the rutting season (late Sept through October) when testosterone levels are high and their flight distance is considerably reduced. Don't be tempted to get close to photograph them.
- Take particular care not to get between a mother and her offspring.
- On no account pick up or touch a fawn, piglet, foal or calf, even if appears to have been abandoned. The mother knows exactly where her offspring is and will return. Leaving it hidden in long grass or in a ditch or thicket while she goes off to graze with the herd elsewhere is her way of drawing predators away from a newborn.
The only real danger to the young animal is if it is touched by human hands because then its mother may reject it.
If you are genuinely concerned, by all means call the estate office to make us aware (01403 741 235).
Generally if a newborn calf has an ear tag then we know about it, but if it hasn’t been tagged yet, we’ll very much welcome the call.
Please note that parking is at your own risk, the management will not accept responsibility for any damage, accident or loss.