Introducing our new Rewilding Network
We are working to launch a new network to upscale rewilding across Britain. Sara King, our new network develop manager, reveals more.
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Introducing our new Rewilding Network
Rewilding in Britain is gaining momentum - white storks have returned and are breeding in Sussex, pine martens are breeding in England and Wales, white tailed eagles have been reintroduced to Scotland and England and rewilding is being debated in parliament. These are all massive achievements. But our nature in the UK is still faring worse than in most other countries.
We must catalyse change and support rewilding and nature recovery across a much bigger scale. To do this, we need to develop a new central rewilding communitynetwork to bring together the hundreds of people who are rewilding their land, or considering a rewilding approach.
The Rewilding Network
Rewilding Britain is currently developing the Rewilding Network. Set to launch later this year, it will become a central hub of information and practical guidance on how to rewild, as well as support for those projects already on their rewilding journey. This pioneering and collaborative network will be the first of its kind in the UK, and will provide the practical tools and connections needed to make positive changes for rewilding across Britain.
This new platform will also support landowners, land managers and community groups to expand, enhance and connect rewilding projects across the UK for the benefit of people, nature and climate. This central ‘meeting point’ will showcase rewilding initiatives across the UK, how projects have approached rewilding, how to get involved and how to overcome obstacles.
Image: Alastair Driver's field visit to Haweswater in May 2019. We hope our new network will encourage land managers and landowners to connect with each other and to develop networks of rewilding that couldn’t be achieved individually.
What resources will be available?
We want to create a new community of large and small scale rewilding projects, bringing together experiences and knowledge from those working on the ground. We’ll also be tapping into a range of experts to nurture discussions and share learning. Our online learning hub will help to build skills that expand and enhance the scale of practical rewilding, and will include ‘how to’ guides, toolkits, videos, infographics and other useful tools. We will also build our rewilding community through project profile information and a series of webinars and events.
A network will be beneficial to existing projects as well as those starting their rewilding journey.
“Our approach to land management - with beavers, rewilding and ecotourism - is highly unusual in our area. We would benefit very much from membership of a network for support, advice and the chance to share experience on everything from the day to day practicalities of rewilding & ecotourism to the lobbying of governments” - Louise & Paul Ramsay, Bamff eco estate, Perthshire
Driving Community Action
Rewilding is about people, communities and livelihoods. Our network will be accessible to all. It will include a new hub of local rewilding groups where communities can work together to enhance their local green spaces, get involved with local rewilding projects and share local knowledge. We hope it’ll also encourage land managers and landowners to connect with each other and to develop networks of rewilding that couldn’t be achieved individually. We want it to support and encourage local artisan enterprises and new businesses to thrive. After all, we can achieve more together!
Upscaling Rewilding and Nature Recovery
Our network aims to upscale the area of rewilding by at least 120,000 hectares across Britain by 2022. We want rewilding to flourish across Britain – to tackle the climate emergency and extinction crisis, reconnect people with the natural world and inspire individuals and communities through new thriving opportunities.
Image: Initially the Network will aim to catalyse and support the rewilding of at least 300,000 acres of land – an area the size of Greater Manchester or North York Moors National Park – plus marine areas within the next three years (C) Martin Harvey
Upscaling rewilding has multiple benefits:
- Boost biodiversity
- Improve the health of our soils
- Sequester carbon
- Support natural flood management
- Help to mitigate droughts
- Improve climate resilience in our natural environments
- Support rural economies and create nature-based enterprises
- Create opportunities for people to reconnect with nature and its health and welfare benefits.
How to get involved
I’m so excited to see this pioneering new network bring people together from all walks of life. Everyone donating to our appeal could play a pivotal role in helping to establish Rewilding Britain’s largest, potentially most transformational project to date. There is nothing like this in Britain. We need your support to make this network a success, from spreading the word, helping us to fund the project, and to take action in making rewilding a reality.
You can donate to the appeal here.