Organisations agree to work more closely towards shared vision of rewilding across Europe
Rewilding Europe and Rewilding Britain signed a ‘Collaborative Rewilding Agreement’, marking the start of a shared intent to coordinate their rewilding and communication activities and to enhance the understanding, support and implementation of rewilding in Britain and Europe.
The signing took place at the Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex, one of the rewilding examples in the UK and member of the European Rewilding Network, during a seminar called ‘Freeing the Landscape – grazing animals as ecosystem engineers’.
Both organisations recognise the need to join forces in supporting the pan-European rewilding movement that is gaining momentum annually, and work together in a common solutions-oriented approach to address the changes taking place in the European countryside. The organisations believe rewilding provides great opportunities for building nature-based local economies, connecting modern society with wilder nature. They also want to grow the interest and awareness in the European public about the still challenging conservation situation in Europe, the importance of ecological processes, including keystone species, that shape the landscape.
Frans Schepers, Managing Director of Rewilding Europe, said: ‘’We not only need to protect nature, we also need to restore it and provide space for nature to develop itself. Many ecosystems – the basis of our natural wealth – are broken.
“Rewilding offers a historical opportunity to repair and revitalize them. We are glad to join forces with Rewilding Britain, and work together at a European scale.”
Rebecca Wrigley, Director of Rewilding Britain, said: “Rewilding is a great way to let nature fully recover while providing communities with new opportunities. It relies on people making a collective decision to explore an alternative future for the land – one that produces a rich mosaic of habitats whilst supporting an increasingly rich mosaic of economic activities.
“Partnership is central to our approach so we’re delighted to be working with Rewilding Europe and benefitting from their wide range of expertise and experience from across Europe.”
The cooperation will focus on a variety of activities, including policy work, sharing of experiences, supporting large-scale rewilding initiatives, linking rewilding initiatives in Britain to the European Rewilding Network (ERN), and stimulating a science-based approach to rewilding.
Rewilding initiatives in Britain that become a member of the ERN can benefit from the resources Rewilding Europe has made available, currently including the European Wildlife Bank (a wildlife-lending model designed to reintroduce and expand wild herbivore populations across Europe), Rewilding Europe Capital (a business loan facility providing finance to support rewilding enterprises), and the European Safari Company (a tourism platform to build rewilding based tourism destinations).