GILBERT White’s House will play host to a brand-new exhibition ‘From the Margins’, specially designed to highlight the benefits of wildlife conservation.

Rachel Hudson, a natural history illustrator, from Four Marks worked with the Selborne Landscape Partnership to create the exhibition dedicated to their conservation efforts.

The display is open to the public from Tuesday June 21 and will run until August 14 before moving onto Chawton House in the Autumn.

The Selborne Landscape Partnership looks to nurture the countryside, creating wildlife corridors and restoring habitats to improve conservation which the Hampshire artist has sought to capture in her work.

Lead farmer of the Selborne Landscape Partnership said: “Following in the footsteps of many talented illustrators of numerous editions of The Natural History of Selborne, Rachel wonderfully captures and celebrates the beauty of Selborne’s farmed landscape and its wild inhabitants.”

Rachel’s artwork showcases endangered species and how the restoration of field margins, including hedgerows and wildflower strips, is making a positive difference.


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The artist had previously worked with a number of organisations, including the National Trust and the Wildlife Trust and even organisations overseas, to champion species that are at risk.

Rachel said: “I started collaborating with the Selborne Landscape Partnership late last year, on a sort of mini project and that developed into the idea of working on an exhibition together. So, over the last nine months I’ve been visiting their farms and seeing the kind of conservation work that’s going on, finding out about the species that they’re helping and just generally taking a deep dive into how they are managing to restore the landscape whilst also farming and producing our food.

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“The idea behind the exhibition is that we’re celebrating what a progressive approach this is to farming and how wildlife really needs this right now because the state of nature is pretty poor across the UK.

“We’ll be showing what can be achieved and what amazing results can happen from working with nature and that is the inspiration behind it.

“It was my job as an illustrator to give shape to the story that was already there. But also create this kind of visual journey for visitors to see what they’re doing and focus on the wildlife that they’re helping.”

Selborne Landscape Partnership is made up of 21 farms covering areas across Selborne and the South Downs. In preparation for the exhibition, Rachel visited lots of the participating farm and learnt about what they’re doing from hedgerow management to the planting of field margins.


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She said: “From my visits, we developed a kind of key message for the exhibition which is all about inspiring people to support local farmers who are supporting local wildlife.

“The idea is that visitors will go on this journey into the field margins themselves and the exhibition is in two parts really. One part is this wall mosaic and it’s called the Selborne Bestiary, and it’s this collection of the iconic species of farmland in that area, so you’ll see animals like a brown hare, a harvest mouse and a grey partridge.

“It’s a visual metaphor for the mosaic approach in conservation and the idea that you need to connect up these isolated little pockets of habitats.

In between the Selborne Bestiary there are then three tow-meter tall vertical ‘Margins’ – titled Hedge, Edge and Strip- that show what life can look like when these habitats are planted, managed and reconnected by farmers and volunteers across the landscape. Each margin reveals the energy and struggles of spring, summer, and autumn, from the viewpoints of the animals themselves.

Rachel added: “The idea is that people will learn all about what’s going on and really get a sense of what these, maybe overlooked strips of untidy looking farmland and countryside are actually these incredible, vital wildlife hotspots when they’re restored and managed properly.

“I hope people will feel inspired about it and also a lot of people might not know that there is this farm cluster with all these farmers who are working together and sharing their knowledge.”

The illustrator has been working on the project for six months visiting locations like the New Forest Wildlife Centre to get as close as possible to farmland life such as barn owls and dormice and help incorporate observational drawing.

The exhibition is free and open in accordance with Gilbert White’s House opening hours, which can be found at

A map will be available to take people out into the gardens and see the conservation areas outside Gilbert White’s House. Visitors will also receive an exhibition guide upon arrival, explain the work and behind the partnership and how people can get involved.

The artist has included interactive displays on her website at

To find out more about the Selborne Landscape Partnership and their work go to

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