What is rewilding?

For us, rewilding is bringing nature back home. We want to kickstart processes that allow nature to reinstate itself, to flourish and change, to fill the gaps and diversify, to generate abundance.

Nature needs our help.  Humans have been shaping the landscape for thousands of years.  We have used tools, machines, animals and chemicals to clear, tidy, and control the land – leaving less and less space for wildlife.  Rewilding puts nature back in charge. 

Where there has been a lot of damage it may be that some action is needed to get things started but, after that, human management should be a light touch not a heavy hand. 

In contrast to traditional conservation management methods rewilding does not have any goals or targets from the outset – it simply lets natural processes unfold.

Rewilding in Action

You may be interested in nature, or love to visit natural landscapes; you may be concerned about climate change or biodiversity loss and wondering what you can do to help; you may want to create a wildflower garden or manage land you own in a different way. Whatever your motivation, we want to encourage you to make a difference.

The good news is there is no one way to rewild. The benefits of restoring natural processes can be seen and experienced at every scale, meaning endless opportunities for you to positively impact the habitats around you.

The most important thing is to simply do something.

Below are a few suggested first steps…

Learn more about rewilding

We have put together some suggested links and books on the Resources page and we will be adding to this as time goes on.

Rewild your land (if you have some)

We hope to expand the website with tips and ideas but here are a few things you could start with:

  • Embrace ‘mess’ – scrub, long grass, untidiness and decay is all excellent for wildlife.  Start to see that ‘messy’ = ‘good for nature’
  • Avoid the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides – use organic pest control methods instead
  • Plant native plants where you can because these support a wider diversity of creatures.  Wild flowers generally have far more nectar and pollen for insects than cultivars which have been selected for colour or form.

Rewild yourself!

This may sound a bit ‘alternative’, but actually it is really good to spend some time in nature paying attention to what is around you and using your different senses.  You begin to appreciate just how complex the natural world is.

  • Find a place to walk or to be which is away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life
  • Be on your own or with a companion who agrees to be silent for a while
  • Look more closely than you usually would at the smaller things: the detail of a spider’s web; the way a leaf unfurls and turns towards the light; how a bird moves through the undergrowth and trees
  • Smell the things around you: plants; flowers; the earth itself
  • Stop and listen:  to the wind in the trees; birds singing or twittering a communication; insects buzzing
  • Use your sense of touch and explore all the different textures:  tree bark; leaves; petals; moss and stone

While our ancestors would have been deeply in tune with their wild surroundings, most modern humans have grown apart from nature – but we are intrinsically linked to the natural world and it deserves our respect and protection. 

Be Respectful

When you are out and about please remember to follow the Countryside Code: 

Respect other people:

  • consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available

Protect the natural environment:

  • leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
  • keep dogs under effective control

Enjoy the outdoors:

  • plan ahead and be prepared
  • follow advice and local signs

Influence policymakers

Write to your local council and ask them to manage the land they own for wildlife – e.g. by leaving longer grass and sowing wild flower seeds or planting native trees and allowing areas of scrub habitat to grow.

Contact your local MP and remind them that the State of Nature 2016 report found that the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.  Ask them to stand up for nature – and to ask others in their party to do so too. 

[Main image: Anne Riley]