The Doddington estate is 6 miles from Lincoln and at its centre stands Doddington Hall. Historically Doddington was a little visited historic house and a conventional farm with minimal public access from a small number of footpaths and bridleways. Since 2007 it has vigorously diversified with accommodation, shops, cafes, weddings, events, new permissive access trails; now employing 120 people, attracting 250,000+ visits a year, and 60,000+ online audience. Covid saw even more visitors walking/cycling on the estate.
The 770 hectare Doddington estate of woods and farmland is on marginal land and struggled to break even in the face increasing costs, extreme weather events and tapering subsidy. Inspired by projects like Knepp Wildlands and Wild Ken Hill, the opportunity to play a more positive role in the face of the climate and biodiversity crises was spotted, and in 2021 an estate-wide nature recovery/rewilding project, Wilder Doddington, began supported by a Natural England Countryside Stewardship Scheme. It is the largest such scheme in the East Midlands and will become the largest inland nature area in Greater Lincolnshire.
To conserve, restore, enhance and protect the natural and cultural heritage of Doddington for the long-term benefit of the wider community.
To enable the wider community to benefit from the many opportunities arising from Doddington’s natural and cultural heritage: learning, volunteering, research skills development and wellbeing.
Using money raised by the National Lottery, The National Lottery Heritage Fund inspires, leads and resources the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future: www.heritagefund.org.uk
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“We are thrilled to work with Doddington” said Julian Free, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln. “Wilder Doddington provides an excellent field site for us, and through Wilder Connections we will be able to connect a much wider range of students and staff with this beautiful location and build the knowledge and skills needed for a healthy future for citizens and the planet.”