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Animal Sponsorship

Mapperton Wildlands White Park Cattle

We are excited to introduce our Mapperton Wildlands Animal Sponsorships that make great gifts all year round, especially for those who are difficult to buy for! By sponsoring one of Mapperton’s livestock on the Estate, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else, you will be helping to support Dorset’s most spectacular rewilding project.

By handing over 800 acres of marginal farmland and woodland back to nature and promoting regenerative agriculture across the rest of Mapperton Estate, we are promoting significant benefits for biodiversity, the environment, food production and – through Social Wilding and Volunteering – our wellbeing.

Sign up today for an animal sponsorship for an annual fee of just £120 and as well as knowing that you are helping to restore and improve the biodiversity of our landscape and ensure the rich variety of wildlife continues to flourish here, you’ll receive by email:

  • A sponsorship certificate
  • Chosen animal fact sheet and why they are important for rewilding
  • A postcard of one of your chosen animals
  • Quarterly updates on our work via our Wildlands e-news
  • After 6 months, a short video of your chosen animal group narrated by Luke Montagu

Sponsorships that are renewed after the first year will also receive a plush toy of the adopted animal.

Please click on the Sponsorship link of your chosen animal, or e-mail for more information.

Sponsor a Mapperton Beaver

Beavers

The introduction of beavers to Mapperton Estate was a major objective for our rewilding project. Woody and Twiggy, our two beavers, have been with us since the Autumn of 2022 and are thriving in their specially designed enclosure, an environment that enables them to explore and perform all their natural behaviours.

Beavers are a keystone species and are known as ‘ecosystem engineers’. This is due to the changes they make to their habitat. Beaver dams help with flood alleviation by holding back heavy rainfall, allowing water to release slowly downstream. This can in turn create wetland habitats supporting an array of other wildlife and increasing biodiversity. The dams also act as sediment traps and help to capture pollutants, thus contributing to improved water quality within the natural river system.

By sponsoring our beavers for £120 per year, you will be helping to support these ‘ecosystem engineers’ as they change their habitat to benefit other wildlife and vegetation.

Sponsor the Beavers
Sponsor a Mapperton Tamworth Pig

Tamworth Pigs

In the early summer of 2023, we saw the arrival of 2 Tamworth sows, one of which was pregnant and the new litter of three piglets were born on the 26th June. Tamworth pigs are a favourite breed for rewilding projects where they can play the role of the wild boar, particularly where they replicate the rootling behaviour. Almost ploughing the top layer of ground as they rootle in search of food, the pigs disturb the soil and create bare ground. This is important as it encourages the regeneration of vegetation and disrupts invasive grasses, allowing wildflower and native grasses to take hold. A native and hardy rare breed, the Tamworth pigs play an important role in rewilding the site at Mapperton.

By sponsoring our Tamworth pigs for £120 per year, you will be helping to maintain these highly intelligent animals and their vital role in conserving the natural wild lands of Mapperton.

Sponsor the Tamworth Pigs
Sponsor a Mapperton White Park Cattle

White Park Cattle

The White Park is one of the most ancient breeds of cattle in Britain and have been introduced onto Mapperton wildlands as a ‘proxy’ for extinct cattle as they are highly adapted for our local conditions. They thrive on a wide variety of grazing vegetation, from poor coarse forage to rich lowland pastures, and happily winter outdoors on rougher grazing.

Because of their preference for coarser herbage and being a robust, adaptable breed, the White Park cattle are an important group of animals in Mapperton’s conservation plan. Trampling low scrub and bracken, breaking up mats of dead litter, they are beneficial in a botanically diverse meadow.

Their distinctive white coat and black points are so appealing and we have enjoyed having these cattle on our parkland since Autumn 2021. By sponsoring our White Park herd for £120 per year, you will be helping to maintain these attractive animals and the key role they play in conserving Mapperton’s wildlands.

Sponsor the White Park Cattle
Sponsor a Mapperton Jacob Sheep

Jacob Sheep

The original flock of Jacob sheep were given to the current Earl of Sandwich’s father on his 70th birthday and the flock have been maintained here at Mapperton ever since. Although the flock started out as a present, they have become a gift, particularly for Mapperton’s Rewilding Project.

Being good grazers sheep are particularly important in encouraging the regeneration of wildflower meadows. They keep the coarse grass and invasive weeds, such as ragwort, low and provide enough fertiliser without making the ground too rich for the wildflowers to flourish.

We also use their wool to supress weeds around new tree planting. So as well as providing aesthetics to the parkland – who can resist those gorgeous faces? – our Jacob sheep flock have become an essential element to Mapperton’s rewilding.

By sponsoring our Jacob Sheep flock for £120 per year, you will be helping to maintain these adorable animals and their vital role in conserving the natural wild lands of Mapperton.

Sponsor the Jacob Sheep
Sponsor a Mapperton Exmoor Pony

Exmoor Pony

Our Exmoor ponies arrived at Mapperton in April 2023 to graze alongside the White Park cattle. A hardy, native rare breed, these intelligent animals fare well on conservation sites, as well as looking majestic on our parkland! These ponies are tolerant of rain and cold winds (a very handy attribute!) and require little human intervention so remain semi-wild.

Although strongly grass-based, the Exmoor pony is a highly adaptive forager but tends to avoid eating flowering plants. So with competing grasses removed, rare flowering plants are more likely to thrive. The ponies are useful in slowing down scrub encroachment by browsing seedlings and coarse herbs such as thistle buds, and eating tree bark of shrubs and saplings.

By sponsoring the Exmoor Ponies for £120 per year, you will be helping to ensure these graceful creatures continue to free-range our wildlands creating the structural diversity that benefits invertebrates, small mammals, and birds of prey.

Sponsor the Exmoor Ponies
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