BY KEER LONSDALE I love the English countryside and have done from a very young age. Even as a tiny tot the ramshackle mud-heap of a farm yard, or the smell of muck-spreading, or the racket of a twilit rookery, or the gentle patchwork of fields and hedges stretching to a misty distance, were to me signals of my proper habitat, my rural home, the … Continue reading Countryside Culture Wars
BY SARAH BATES A dramatically changing climate is threatening to destroy natural ecosystems, risks species extinction and the collapse of complex food webs. For some, the concept of “rewilding” is key to a sustainable future. They argue for changing landscapes to uncultivated states and introducing or re-introducing plant and animal species that should thrive in a biodiverse environment. A global project of reforestation would help … Continue reading The Case for Rewilding
BY DAVID EYLES In September, to great fanfare and publicity alarums, Chris Packham and George Monbiot released “A Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife”. This wide-ranging document claims to having no party political bias, but admits to being political and even controversial. The manifesto declares its intentions to form no less than 17 separate ministries for the management of the British countryside and seas. These 17 separate … Continue reading Do Buzzards Eat Partridge?
BY DAVID EYLES In many ways, George Monbiot’s book Feral, is a curious amalgam of anecdote, ecological theory, polemic and autobiography. On two or three occasions, he seems to feel intimately and mystically connected to events (as he envisages them) in the distant geological past. These intense emotional experiences lead to ideas of a revelatory nature. So his nostrums for the correction of the UK’s environmental ills (as … Continue reading The Impact of Upland Farming
BY DAVID EYLES Two winters ago, in a spirit of inquiry, I set off early to Camelford and then to the north side of Bodmin Moor. My aim was to walk up to the top of Rough Tor, which is just to the north of Bodmin Moor’s highest top of Brown Willy. I was looking for evidence of ecological disaster caused by upland farming, as … Continue reading On Bodmin Moor
BY CHARLIE PYE-SMITH The American poet Wendell Berry is one of the few people who has managed to make soil sound both important and sexy. “The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all,” he wrote in The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. “It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into … Continue reading The Grapes of Hope?
BY LINUS WOODS There are those days that life deals you a curve ball and you just do not know how to respond. You are simply struck square between the eyes and remain there, frozen in disbelief as to what has just happened. Thanks to social media, this is a pretty common occurrence for many of us. Apparently, conservation (the conservation that has kept the … Continue reading Rewilding – The Question People Are Not Asking
BY DAVID EYLES Somewhat overshadowed by the recent and momentous Cabinet Reshuffle – and the news that Larry, the Number 10 Downing Street Chief Mouser, remains in post – was a little reported item that the ever eager and cherubic Michael Gove has worked a blinder. He has announced that millions will be spent in creating a new Northern Forest along the M62 corridor. So we will … Continue reading Gove, the Northern Forest & Beavers
BY DAVID EYLES What are the ecological benefits of rewilding? To be honest, I do not know the answer to my own question. It isn’t as if I haven’t looked for the answer. I have asked the rewilders to provide hard evidence for the support of their claims, and I have received none. I have speculated here, for example, as to what the changes might be … Continue reading Are Motorway Embankments & Rewilding the Same Thing?
BY DAVID EYLES For some time now, I have been searching the fogs and mists in the outer reaches of the conservation movement in an attempt to give shape and meaning to the term Rewilding. In wrestling with the dream-like world of rewilding, the more I read, the more it becomes a fantasy built upon an illusion. Background There is a strange fluidity about the distinction … Continue reading What’s Rewilding & Who’s it for?
BY NIGEL BEAN According to several internet sources the phrase ‘Rewilding’ first appeared in 1990 and was written by a man called Dave Forman. He was a founder member of Earth First!, a radical group promoting sabotage as a weapon of intimidation against large corporations accused by the group of damaging the earth and plundering its resources. Dave Forman was inspired by a novel concerning … Continue reading Rewilding Revisited
BY DAVID EYLES Don’t get me wrong about all this – I’m rather fond of George Monbiot’s writing. It is always entertaining and there is plenty to get your teeth into to get the argumentative juices flowing. His book – Feral – is just as you would expect. It is well written, almost poetic in places, spattered with knowledgeable asides about ecological systems and natural … Continue reading Monbiot’s Unintended Consequences