Returning to the land that her father had once nurtured marked a life change for Georgina Fulton, and her husband Gareth and their two children. The family had recently moved back to the UK after living in Cyprus, so the flat, big-sky views of the Isle of Sheppey felt like a particularly wild landscape. ‘This is a relatively unknown part of Kent, but there’s a unique beauty to the place,’ says Georgina.
When her father came to Elmley in the 1970s, he was in the business of arable and sheep farming, but the land was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by the government. Georgina’s father embraced the change, positively encouraging wildlife to flourish and returning the arable land to extensive grazing for cattle. ‘He had quite a pioneering approach for his time,’ she says.
Today, Elmley is a nature reserve and an important breeding ground for migratory birds that flit through the marshlands and grasses, undisturbed by the small herds of free-roaming cattle.
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