Thanks for being here on our website and taking at look at what we have to say. We’ve set up Rewilding Britain to bring back missing species, allow native forests to grow once more on the hills, let rivers run wild and help parts of the sea recover from industrial fishing. We hope many of you will join the mission.
It’s been a hard two years to get us to this point. We’ve consulted wide and far with individuals and organisations interested in our ambitions. We’ve had to raise funds to get us off the ground and we’re currently recruiting for our first director.
It all started when George Monbiot wrote Feral, a book that introduced the idea of rewilding, and ecological restoration, to millions of people. It prompted hundreds of people to get in touch with him, pleading the creation of an organisation that would push for large scale rewilding in Britain. An organisation that would be bold and focused on this key objective.
As George says: “The overwhelmingly positive response to Feral was quite unexpected. It seems the book put into words what many people were thinking and longing for.…The changes we’re calling for would be considered unexceptional almost anywhere else in Europe, where in many countries populations of beavers, boar, lynx and wolves are already recovering rapidly. So far the public appetite for change here has had few outlets. We want to change that, and to restore the living world and our relationship with it.”
George will remain a key supporter and is helping us get off the ground. But of course the rewilding movement is so much more than one person. It’s the thousands of people that also believe in rewilding. It’s the isolated bands of rewilding pioneers that have been struggling to help nature over recent decades. It’s the many thousand more that are ready to believe in a positive vision for the future. Rewilding is the opposite of ecological destruction. This is its greatest strength, it’s most compelling argument.
Ecological destruction has played out over centuries in Britain. It has taken many forms: mass deforestation, mass forestry plantations in the wrong places, soaring deer numbers, large scale upland sheep farming, the wilful extermination of wildlife to support sporting goals, intensive farming, and the deliberate poisonings of birds of prey that still happen with alarming frequency. The poor state of our nature in Britain makes it more susceptible to climate change. It makes our future look more bleak.
There will be naysayers and cynics and opposition, of course. But we hope that anyone who cares about nature and living systems will support us. We’re not intending to preach from afar or impose changes. We want to be a loud voice helping to gather public and policy support for the important changes that nature needs. We want to join with others to turn the tide on the catastrophic decline in nature. We have our eye focused firmly on the future, and it’s a future that looks better than it does today.
Photo: Pine marten on dead wood © Peter Cairns