YRN webinars _DRAFT

Below are the presentations and webinars that we’ve delivered to date.

Tokenising rewilding

This webinar was recorded on Tuesday 15th February, 2022, and is presented by Cain Blythe, CEO of Ecosulis.

In this talk, Cain outlines how rewilding and nature recovery projects can attract funding from the private sector through “tokenisation”, with a particular focus on opportunities in Yorkshire. The development of tokens for rewilding will enable investors (pension funds, insurance companies, businesses, impact investors – those wanting to make a difference) to go beyond offsetting harm & to commit funds to projects which are shown to have a positive impact on nature recovery. The rapidly expanding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) markets offer a great opportunity. Investors benefit from an enhanced reputation which they can use in marketing and recruitment and may be able to reduce borrowing costs as fund managers demand that businesses reduce risk through carbon reduction & biodiversity gain.

Cain is a specialist in ecosystem restoration, nature recovery and the use of technology in conservation. Together with Dr Paul Jepson, he has written the acclaimed book “Rewilding: the radical new science of ecological recovery (2020)”. Cain has practical experience of delivering nature-based solutions, including for rewilding projects, and is supporting the development of this emerging field in the UK. Cain works closely with a wide range of stakeholders including conservation organisations, landowners, farmers and private businesses to plan, deliver and manage a wide range of habitat creation projects, species reintroductions and ecosystem scale management strategies. He has helped establish healthy woodlands, wetlands, grasslands and other priority habitats, as well as co-ordinating projects involving reintroduction of species such as beavers, pine martens, and a variety of amphibian, reptile, invertebrate and botanical species.

Yorkshire’s Wilder Peatlands

This webinar was recorded on Wednesday 19th January, 2022, and is presented by Dr Tim Thom, Peat Programme Manager, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

Yorkshire’s peatlands are in a desperate state from centuries of abuse. They have been dug up, drained, trampled, grazed and burnt leaving a legacy of erosion and dried out peat lacking typical peatland vegetation. In this state our peatlands are no longer functioning as unique internationally important habitats that should be storing carbon, providing clean water and regulating flooding. Fortunately, help is at hand. The Yorkshire Peat Partnership, established in 2008, has been restoring Yorkshire’s peatlands by returning the natural hydrology of these climax habitats and re-establishing these unique habitats through cotton-grass and Sphagnum moss planting. Over a third of Yorkshire’s peatlands is now returning to wet, naturally functioning bog helping in our battle with the climate and biodiversity crisis.

After a PhD looking at otters on the Tyne and postdoctoral work on fish migration, crayfish and basking sharks Dr Tim Thom spent 10 years as the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Senior Wildlife Conservation Officer where, in partnership with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust he established the Yorkshire Peat Partnership to try to tackle the long history of damage to Yorkshire’s upland peatlands. Tim transferred to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 2013 and has been leading the Yorkshire Peat Partnership ever since. With over £20million of funds raised and over a third of Yorkshire’s peatlands now under restoration this is now one of Europe’s biggest and most successful habitat restoration projects. More needs to be done and Tim, in partnership with Moors for the Future and the North Pennines AONB has established the Great North Bog coalition to scale up restoration of the 92% of England’s peatlands in the north of England.

The Return of the White-tailed Eagle

This webinar, in partnership with The Wharfedale Naturalists Society, was recorded on Tuesday 7th December, 2021, and is presented by Dr Tim Mackrill.

In 2019 the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England began a five-year reintroduction project to restore breeding White-tailed Eagles to England after an absence of over 200 years. In this talk Dr Tim Mackrill describes progress so far, including how the young eagles have been tracked across the UK, and even into continental Europe using the latest satellite tracking technology. He also explains how the released birds are learning to live successfully in the English landscape and describe the team’s expectations and hopes for the future.

Dr Tim Mackrill is an ornithologist with the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, leading the charity’s work on White-tailed Eagles, Ospreys and other species in England.

Helping farmers to manage their environmental assets

This webinar was recorded on Tuesday 16th November, 2021, and is presented by Tarja Wilson, Land Management Adviser, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The majority of the land in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is privately owned and managed by farmers; farming in the uplands is challenging, both physically and economically. Find out how the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority provides support with surveys and on the grants/schemes available to farmers and landowners to manage their environmental assets and secure good conservation management.

Tarja was born on a dairy farm in Cheshire moving to North Lancashire in 1990 to work in countryside management. She has been working with farmers in North Lancashire and more recently the Yorkshire Dales for over 30 years.

eDNA: working together to scale up the measurement of nature

This webinar was recorded on Tuesday 10th October, 2021, and is presented by Ian Taylor of NatureMetrics.

eDNA is a powerful tool. We can do more than measure a handful of species. By adding eDNA to the toolbox, we can improve biodiversity data collection at scale. Ian has been a marine biologist, field guide and lecturer in behavioural ecology and biodiversity. He has aligned national curriculum with the United Nations SDG’s and understands the power of collaboration. He has extensive experience working with NGO’s and ethical businesses (B Corporations). He represents NatureMetrics’ conservation business development team and works to introduce DNA-based methods to clients here in the UK.

Huge thanks to Ian from all at the Yorkshire Rewilding Network!

Please note that a minor technical glitch means that it starts a little suddenly but only a minute or so into Ian’s presentation.

In praise of ponds

This webinar was recorded on Wednesday 26th May, 2021, and is presented by Rick Battarbee. Rick is a Freshwater Ecologist, Emeritus Professor of Environment Change at University College London and former Director of the UCL Environmental Change Research Centre. In retirement he lives in Addingham, West Yorkshire and co-ordinates the work of the Addingham Environment Group that was formed in 2016.

Ponds are exceptionally important habitats for wildlife. They are home to a wide variety of plants, invertebrates and amphibians. Sadly, very many ponds have been lost from the landscape and others are in poor condition, but there are now programmes that aim both to restore old ponds and create new ones. Creating garden wildlife ponds is becoming increasingly popular.

In this presentation, Rick talks about both pond restoration and creation and some of the methods used in their restoration and establishment, and provides some examples from Addingham Environment Group’s work to create wildlife ponds in local gardens and allotments.

Thank you, Rick, from the Yorkshire Rewilding Network!

Rewilding Yorkshire with native livestock and equines

This webinar was recorded on Monday 26th April, 2021, and is presented by Christopher Price, Chief Executive of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. He has a longstanding interest in ecological restoration, particularly through the use of grazing animals.

Rewilders are well aware of the role that grazing animals can have in restoring habitats, but the diversity between the various breeds of grazing animal is often under appreciated. In this talk, Christopher Price discusses the varied attributes of the different animals and what factors to consider when selecting the most appropriate.

Thank you, Christopher, from everyone in the Yorkshire Rewilding Network!

How we ‘Make it Wild’ – a personal perspective

This webinar was recorded on Tuesday 30th March, 2021, and is presented by Helen and Christopher Neave who share some of the lessons they’ve learnt in their personal experience of giving land back to nature over the past 10 years. They touch on tree planting, pond digging, grant applications, and more as they reflect on their experience of rewilding.

Helen and Christopher – huge thanks from the whole YRN!

The Natural Capital Laboratory – Rewilding plans and measuring progress with digital techniques and a “Natural Capital Accounting” approach – 24th February, 2021

This webinar was recorded on Wednesday 24th February, 2021, and is a presentation by Erin Gianferrara and Sally Hawkins about how the Natural Capital Laboratory in the Scottish Highlands is progressing its rewilding ambitions through social, ecological, and digital techniques. This presentation should appeal to anyone interested in measuring changes to biodiversity and the values of natural capital and ecosystem service flows that result from rewilding projects.

Erin is an Environmental Economist at AECOM with a background in natural capital accounting, nature-based solutions, and ecosystem service assessments. She is currently the technical lead for AECOM’s Natural Capital Laboratory, and is passionate about exploring the use of advanced technologies in rewilding and conservation.

Sally is a trustee of the Lifescape Project and a PhD student at the University of Cumbria where she is using interdisciplinary approaches to develop a social-ecological framework for rewilding. She is a member of the IUCN CEM Rewilding Task Force who recently developed a globally recognised definition and principles for rewilding.

A big thank you to Erin and Sally from the YRN!

The session starts at around 5 mins 10 seconds into the video and lasts for about 55 minutes, includes a question and answer session at the end.

Rewilding: where to start – 20th January, 2021

Here’s our guide to “Rewilding: where to start” that was presented on 20th January. Please use the arrows to step through it.


Rewilding in an agricultural landscape – 15th December, 2020

This webinar was recorded on Monday 15th December and is a presentation by Toni Beardsall based on her recent MSc project, which focused on how English farmers and land owners view the social impacts of rewilding. Toni is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which rewilding can contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and communities, whilst reversing biodiversity decline. Her thesis was part of a collaborative project between Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge and Sussex Universities.

The session starts at around 2 mins 50 seconds into the video and lasts for about 50 minutes, includes a question and answer session at the end.

Biodiversity impacts of beaver and pine marten reintroductions – 20th October, 2020

This webinar was recorded on Tuesday 20th October and is a presentation by Sara King of Rewilding Britain about the biodiversity impacts of beaver and pine marten reintroductions. It was jointly organised with Wharfedale Naturalists’ Society.

The talk starts at around 2 mins 30 seconds and lasts for about an hour and includes a question and answer session at the end.