Our relationship with our land is broken: we must heal it.
Jake Fiennes is on a mission to change the face of the English countryside. As Conservation Manager at Holkham in Norfolk, one of the country's largest historic country estates, his radical habitat restoration and agricultural work has nurtured its species and risen its crop yields – bringing back wetlands, hedgerows, birds and butterflies over 25,000 acres of land.
But this isn't rewilding – there is no 'wild' in Britain anymore. Mass farming, crop science and industrial chemicals have destroyed the majority of our natural landscape and wildlife over the last century. Land Healer is the story of Fiennes's ambition to bring back our flora and fauna – by reclaiming our traditions and trialling new experiments which could restore our symbiosis with our land, and save our shared future.
Following the farming year and the natural cycle of the seasons, Land Healer chronicles a life of conservation lived at the edges, and is a manifesto for rethinking our relationship with the natural world before it's too late.
Jake Fiennes is Conservation Manager at Holkham in Norfolk, one of the country's largest historic country estates. From a thirty-year career in conservation, game-keeping and land management, his advice and expertise is being sought by an increasing number of key players in the conservationist and agricultural fields – including the Ministry of Agriculture, the NFU, the Prince of Wales, the National Trust, the RSPB and Natural England, among others. Previously, he worked at the Raveningham estate, helping to kick-start their famous rewilding project. He lives in an old blacksmith's house with his partner in Norfolk.
"[...] Fiennes is forthright, his arguments stocked with enough facts and figures to baffle all but the most diligent reader. Yet for me they convince because they resound with first-hand experience and learning through the soles of the fee [...] [Land Healer] should appeal to a wider readership interested in the English farmed landscape and its future. Birds are at the heart of the narrative, so readers can be expected among the flocks of birders who live in or visit Norfolk. Although he has been helped with the words by a professional journalist, this is a personal book with a fresh angle on large-scale farming, estate management and nature under a broad Norfolk sky."
– James Robertson, British Wildlife Volume 34(1), October 2022
"Jake Fiennes is changing the face of farming in Britain [...] a revolutionising force"
– Isabella Tree
"With mud on his boots and hope in his heart, Fiennes tells a powerful and uplifting story of food, farming and living with nature"
– Matthew Parris
"We can only solve the crises of climate, extinction and human ill-health by healing our relationship with the land. Jake Fiennes shows us how in this inspiring, realistic and practical book"
– Patrick Barkham
"A powerful call to arms, this fascinating book makes a clear case to put farming at the heart of the restoration of our countryside"
– Sarah Langford, author of Rooted
"One of the motive forces behind this new way of looking at the land"
– Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England