Conserving our landscape and its heritage
Boomtown is held at the Matterley Estate which is a 2400 acre mixed farm with 200 dairy cattle and 1100 acres of arable including wheat, barley and oilseed rape. The estate ownership and farm management has been in the Bruce family for three generations. The farm business is diverse and as well as Boomtown, the estate supports motocross events, tank driving, cross country runs, cycling events and a large game shoot.
Since 2016 the estate has also been part of the South Downs National Park (SDNP). The historical and ecological significance of the SDNP is of paramount importance to Boomtown and we have pledged to celebrate and promote the the breathtaking views, unspoilt places, cultural history and heritage of the area to all in attendance through a variety of methods. We are committed to protecting the Cheesefoot Head SSSI contained within the festival and will closely follow the guidelines provided by Natural England to ensure the area is not impacted by the festival.
Protecting rare plants and species
Based on the expertise of conservation experts, the SDNP trust is working to ensure rare and endangered species can survive and flourish for the next generation, such as the Adonis blue butterfly, water voles and the iconic barn owl. As a festival and longside the Matterley landowners, we are committed to the protection of Cheesefoot Head SSSI located within the festival site and we will continue to ensure recommendations from the Extended Phase 1 Ecological Assessment and associated end-of-year reports are considered when planning and delivering the festival.
Butterfly Scrape with ‘Farm Wildlife’
As part of the Section 106 agreement for continuing to run the festival within the SDNP, we have been working alongside Matterley Estate and local conservationists who have created a butterfly scrape with the aim of establishing a breeding area for native Lepidoptera such as the small blue butterfly and the striped lychnis moth.
What is a butterfly scrape?
Many butterflies and moths depend on plants that are quickly out-competed by vigorous vegetation. The creation of earth scrapes produce a mosaic of sparsely vegetated patches that provide the breeding, nectaring and warm basking areas that many butterflies and moths require. Scrapes also help to diversify the vegetation of a site and can supply bare ground habitat that is needed by other insects such as beetles, solitary bees and wasps. Scrapes can be particularly useful where large-scale or more complex habitat creation methods such as butterfly banks are inappropriate.
This opportunity arose from a longstanding relationship with Jayne Chapman at Butterfly Conservation. One of the outcomes of this partnership is the realisation just how easy it is to do something very small that results in big, positive impacts. Building a relationship with a local conservation officer can help with many areas of the farm management, by understanding the needs of the business whilst offering practical ideas on how to tweak things so that more benefits for farm wildlife can be created.