In addition to our active conservation activities in U.K., our work takes us around the world, contributing to regional or global conservation efforts.
Our focus is on some of the South of England’s most important wildlife habitats, and on arid and semi-arid rangelands of Africa and Central Asia. We work within and outside of formally protected areas but regardless of designation, these ecosystems are human dominated environments where sustainable, multifunctional approaches to land management are needed to maintain biodiversity and support human livelihoods, health and wellbeing.
Marwell is situated within the South Downs National Park in Hampshire. Our own land includes semi-natural ancient woodland and chalk grassland which we manage for wildlife and people while deriving benefits such as hay production and use of woodland products. We carefully monitor the outcomes of our actions and demonstrate responsible custodianship. We apply the same principles to the restoration lowland heath ecosystem at Eelmoor Marsh Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which we have managed for over 25 years, adopting conservation grazing and rewilding approaches to restoring this rare and valuable habitat.
We are committed to the conservation of wildlife across the Saharan region, working with partners to achieve ambitious goals in an otherwise neglected part of the world. Within the region, we have established long term initiatives in Tunisia, a remarkably diverse country spanning the Sahara and the Mediterranean. Here, we are restoring arid steppe and desert ecosystems, including the reintroduction and management of threatened species that had previously disappeared. We are working to restore landscapes in and between protected areas to provide vital connectivity for wildlife to roam freely and thrive once more.
In Kenya, we work across state- and privately-owned protected areas, and in community conservancies to monitor, study and manage important and threatened wildlife. To achieve this, we also support community initiatives to diversify livelihoods and promote sustainable use of natural resources, including adaptive grazing management, water conservation, and activities such as tourism that derive benefits from robust wildlife populations.
Our work in Zimbabwe is allied with the ‘Conservation Across Boundaries’ strategy of the Dambari Wildlife Trust which seeks to understand and conserve the natural resources of the unique Matobo Hills. Dambari Wildlife Trust was founded by Marwell as a locally registered not for profit organisation in 1997 (originally the Marwell Zimbabwe Trust) and remains our principal delivery partner in Zimbabwe.
More recently our team has increased to include conservation work on snow leopards in Central Asia, working to develop transboundary conservation strategies, particularly between China and Kazakhstan, where our teams are based. Our themes are once again focused on landscape connectivity, identifying opportunities to jointly manage habitats and provide seamless routes and corridors to connect wildlife populations between protected areas and across borders.
In all locations, our teams are active participants in local and regional committees and task forces, focused on finding nature-based solutions to conservation problems. These include South Downs National Parks and Farming Cluster groups in U.K., the Kenya Wildlife Service Grevy’s Zebra Technical Committee, the Kazakhstan Institute of Zoology and the Cat Specialist Group of China.
Globally, we host the Programme Office of the IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group, the world’s leading body of scientific and practical expertise on the status and conservation of all antelope species. Our team also contributes actively to other IUCN specialist groups and commissions, including the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). We are also active partners with IPBES, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP).